While Louisiana is home to Cajun food and culture, it is also home to 340B hospitals seeking information. On October 2, 2018, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Sentry Data Systems was pleased to work with the Louisiana Hospital Association to plan and conduct an interactive workshop, “Effectively Navigating the 340B Program,” with seven hours of continuing education for pharmacists, nurses and executives on compliance, technology and advocacy updates. The program was well-received, with more than 60 hospital attendees with backgrounds in pharmacy, finance, compliance and administration.
The meeting began with an update from the American Hospital Association (AHA). The AHA talk included congressional updates and a discussion of ways hospitals could tell their 340B story. It also covered how hospitals could enroll in the new stewardship principles of 340B initiative supported by the AHA, 340B Health, American Association of Medical Colleges and America’s Essential Hospitals. AHA is spear-heading the opportunity for hospitals to sign on to join the voluntary initiative.
In addition, there was emphasis on the midterm elections and the possibility of the House and Senate changing political parties, and the potential impact on various committees that have influence over the 340B Program. Hospitals were encouraged to document their savings, while AHA shared tools that their multidisciplinary 340B committee developed to demonstrate how a hospital could calculate the savings from 340B as compared to Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) price.
During the group sessions facilitated by Sentry, the attendees broke into groups to discuss how hospitals should look at the savings, expenses and other factors that are important in calculating 340B impact statements.
Sentry Data Systems’ role in the event was to provide technology integration strategies for success. I was pleased to provide a deep dive into of how technology and 340B have evolved, specifically in relation to data feeds and the connectivity to the 340B program requirements (for patient, location, provider, and insurer). I reviewed the 340B landscape over the last decade and paid particular attention to the evolution of healthcare, pointing out key factors impacting hospitals and their decision to participate in 340B.
Attendees later broke into teams made up of compliance, pharmacy and finance members to problem solve, tackling issues that ranged from entering to exiting the 340B Program. Each team had between 18 and 48 years of collective experience, yet each was able to learn something new from the other groups presenting. Everyone walked away with new insights, new contacts and a renewed outlook on managing 340B using tools, technology and resources.
There is a great demand for 340B education and training at the local level. The states play an integral role in helping to bring together experts in 340B to actively engage in thoughtful discussion to solve our biggest challenges. Attendees left with a greater appreciation for the role of every department in maintaining 340B compliance, as well as knowledge of how to best utilize their resources—including vendors such as Sentry Data Systems.
Attendees were challenged to “leave in action!” tasked with goals to complete one week, six months and one year out. A key takeaway was the need for technology providers to engage their covered entities with programs that bridge the gap between operations and software. Sentry Data Systems was able to provide insights on how hospitals can receive training on our solutions via webinars, in-person and through interactive learning within our software (a feature we recently launched with our Atlas tool).
Sentry Data Systems is proud to have been a part of this training and will continue to integrate best practices to optimize software utilization, which leads to improved compliance and program maintenance for our customers.