If you work in the healthcare industry, you`ve probably heard of the 340B program. Established by Congress in 1992, it allows eligible healthcare organizations to purchase drugs from pharmaceutical companies at significantly reduced prices, with the aim of stretching scarce federal resources and reaching more patients in need.
But did you know that many 340B covered entities partner with contract pharmacies to dispense medications and provide additional pharmacy services to patients? These 340B contract pharmacy services agreements, or CPSAs, are an essential component of the program and can help covered entities increase their reach and impact in underserved communities.
So, what exactly are CPSAs, and how do they work?
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which administers the 340B program, a CPSA is “an agreement between a covered entity and a pharmacy under which the pharmacy agrees to serve as a contract pharmacy in the 340B Program on behalf of the covered entity.” In other words, the contract pharmacy acts as an extension of the covered entity`s pharmacy operations, providing medications to eligible patients at 340B prices and handling related tasks such as inventory management, billing, and reporting.
CPSAs can benefit both covered entities and contract pharmacies in several ways. For covered entities, partnering with contract pharmacies can:
– Extend their reach: By partnering with one or more contract pharmacies, covered entities can offer 340B pricing to patients who may not be able to access their physical pharmacy locations due to distance, transportation barriers, or other factors.
– Streamline operations: Contract pharmacies can handle many of the administrative tasks associated with the 340B program, freeing up covered entity staff to focus on other priorities.
– Increase revenue: By participating in the 340B program and using contract pharmacies to dispense medications, covered entities may be able to generate additional revenue that can be reinvested in patient care or other initiatives.
For contract pharmacies, the benefits of participating in CPSAs can include:
– Increased patient volume: Contract pharmacies that participate in the 340B program may attract more patients who are seeking lower-cost medications.
– Improved relationships with covered entities: By working closely with covered entities, contract pharmacies can build trust and potentially secure additional business in the future.
– Additional revenue streams: Contract pharmacies can charge fees for their services related to the 340B program, such as inventory management or dispensing fees.
Of course, as with any business relationship, there are potential challenges and risks associated with CPSAs. These can include:
– Compliance concerns: Both covered entities and contract pharmacies must adhere to strict rules and regulations related to the 340B program, including requirements around patient eligibility, drug diversion, and auditing. Any violations can result in serious consequences, including loss of program eligibility and financial penalties.
– Administrative burdens: While contract pharmacies can help streamline the 340B program for covered entities, there may be additional administrative tasks involved in managing the relationship and ensuring compliance with all program requirements.
– Financial considerations: Covered entities and contract pharmacies must negotiate a fair and mutually beneficial arrangement regarding pricing, fees, and other financial aspects of the CPSA.
If you`re a covered entity considering a CPSA with a contract pharmacy, or a pharmacy considering offering 340B services to covered entities, there are many factors to weigh before entering into an agreement. It`s important to carefully review the terms of the contract, assess the potential benefits and risks, and seek the advice of legal and financial experts when necessary.
However, for many covered entities and contract pharmacies, CPSAs are a valuable tool for expanding access to affordable medications and improving the health outcomes of underserved patients. With careful planning and execution, these partnerships can be a win-win for everyone involved.