Various health problems require different kinds of prescribed drugs and interventions. If some patients feel essential improvements following medical treatment, others need more complex surgical operations to eliminate severe health issues. Even though medical treatment and surgical operations are entirely different, these interventions are similar in the way that they represent a particular financial burden. Drug prescription is also associated with significant economic issues within a health care system. It refers to the fact that medical drugs that are considered the most common kind of medical intervention imply high prices, which is a challenge for patients, doctors, hospitals, and taxpayers. Thus, a specific health care policy is necessary to address this issue, and the 340B Drug Pricing Program is a suitable solution.
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The 340B Drug Pricing Program is an essential component of a health care policy addressing the phenomenon under consideration. According to Nikpay, Buntin, and Conti (2018), the program “was initiated in 1992 by the US Congress to allow participating hospitals to generate additional revenue” by purchasing drugs cheaper (p. 1124). It means that the program was designed to address a financially vulnerable population. It is proved by the fact that lowering medication costs and providing better health care services were the main goals of that initiative. In addition to that, the program was said to give hospitals certain benefits, including net revenue. Thus, the phenomenon under consideration was expected to bring a few positive features to the US health care industry.
At present, the 340B Drug Pricing Program is also worth discussing. It is explained by the fact that the United States has witnessed a significant increase in drug prices over the past two decades. As a result, a health care policy that is aimed at dealing with this financial burden should respond correspondingly. That is why health care legislators take appropriate steps to improve the situation with drug affordability in the industry. Consequently, hospitals may employ more physicians in drug-incentive specialties, which will allow them to provide health care services to a higher number of patients (Desai & McWilliams, 2018). In addition to that, Desai and McWilliams (2018) argue that the program under consideration allows hospitals to favor “high-income groups with more generous insurance when treating additional patients” (p. 540). Thus, the information above proves that the 340B Drug Pricing Program is intended to provide patients with better care and improve the financial situations of hospitals.
Paying attention to the significance of the given topic, one should not be surprised by the fact that many legislators are involved in shaping the program. Apart from the Congressmen who participated in developing and implementing the program in 1992, it is reasonable to say a few words about modern policymakers. On the one hand, Debra Draper mentions that it is necessary to control 340B contract pharmacy arrangements more strictly since they are on a volunteer basis now (Health Resources & Services Administrations, 2018). On the other hand, Representative Chris Collins offers to limit the notion of a patient according to the program under consideration. Thus, the legislator insists on depriving employees of a medical establishment to participate in the program in this establishment. Even though the proposals above bring some changes to the political initiative, its general principles remain the same.
In addition to that, one should note that APRNs have a particular role in assisting with the policy. As has been mentioned, providing better health care services is one of the main goals of the given program. At the same time, APRNs are said to be essential primary care providers, and it is difficult to overestimate their contribution to establishing positive health outcomes. Rantz, Birtley, Flesner, Crecelius, and Murray (2017) point out that APRNs’ successful performance is effective in reducing hospital expenditure and improving the quality of service. Thus, these primary care providers can assist in identifying low-income patients who are eligible to be included in the program. In other words, the combination of the given initiative and skillful APRNs proves to be effective.
The information above stipulates that the 340B Drug Pricing Program is a useful phenomenon that has a positive impact on clinical practice. Firstly, it is designed to deprive hospitals of a significant part of their financial burden, which allows them to allocate more resources to improving the quality of service. It is done by employing more physicians to provide care to a higher number of patients. Secondly, a focus on drug pricing makes physicians draw more attention to drug prescribing to eliminate possible errors. As a result, the health care industry includes many medical professionals who do their best to improve clinical practice.
In addition to that, the program under consideration is useful to promote better outcomes, both for individuals and hospitals. On the one hand, it refers to the fact that the health care initiative allows low-income patients to take expensive medication at relatively low prices, which influences their health positively. On the other hand, hospitals provide their patients with a decent level of care that is represented by potent medication and benefit from it. It refers to the fact that medical establishments get significant revenue due to the involvement in the program (Jones, Linas, Truong, Burgess, & Lasser, 2019). Thus, the given policy initiative has a positive impact on clinical practice and contributes to better health and financial outcomes.
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Moreover, the program will be the most effective when interprofessional teams implement it. Firstly, the program will result in some benefits if it is properly developed, which requires legislators. Secondly, it should imply accountants who will keep reports, identify drug prices for patients, and calculate net revenue for hospitals. Thirdly, it is necessary to have particular officials who are to decide on who is eligible to participate in the program under consideration. Finally, one should not forget about physicians who are responsible for prescribing drugs. They should also have a decent level of expertise to make sure that low-income patients benefit from their medical treatment.
In conclusion, the 340B Drug Pricing Program is said to be a useful health care policy in the modern world. It is explained by continually increasing prices of various drugs. As a result, the program was designed to make expensive drugs affordable for low-income patients without placing this financial burden on hospitals. Even though the policy initiative was developed in 1992, modern legislators also contribute to its improvement and implementation. It can be effective only when it is used by interprofessional teams that consist of experienced specialists. The program has a positive impact on both individual patients and the whole health care industry by making effective medical services affordable for a higher number of patients.
Desai, S., & McWilliams, M. (2018). Consequences of the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The New England Journal of Medicine, 378, 539-548.
Health Resources & Services Administrations. (2018). Contract pharmacy services. We3b.
Jones, E. A., Linas, B. P., Truong, V., Burgess, J. F., & Lasser, K. E. (2019). Budgetary impact analysis of a primary care-based hepatitis C treatment program: Effects of 340B Drug Pricing Program. PLoS One, 14(3). Web.
Nikpay, S., Buntin, M., & Conti, R. M. (2018). Diversity of participants in the 340B Drug Pricing Program for US hospitals. JAMA International Medicine, 178(8), 1124-1127.
Rantz, M. J., Birtley, N. M., Flesner, M., Crecelius, C., & Murray, C. (2017). Call to action: APRNs in U.S. nursing homes to improve care and reduce costs. Nursing Outlook, 65(6), 689-696.