340B Insight Podcast
Episode Nine: 340B and Caring for People Experiencing Homelessness
September 14, 2020
In this episode, we speak with Nicole Shoquist, Chief Pharmacy Officer for JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Texas. Nicole described the importance of 340B in meeting the needs of patients experiencing homelessness during the height of the pandemic. JPS's innovative response to care for these patients included telehealth and new ways to help patients receive their prescriptions. Prior to the interview, our news segment provides an update on drug manufacturers refusing to offer 340B pricing when drugs are dispensed at community pharmacies. (Transcript)
In this episode, we speak with Nicole Shoquist, Chief Pharmacy Officer for JPS Health Network in Fort Worth, Texas. Nicole described the importance of 340B in meeting the needs of patients experiencing homelessness. Nicole describes JPS’s innovative response to care for these patients during the height of the pandemic that included telehealth and new ways to help patients receive their prescriptions. Prior to the interview, our news segment provides an update on drug manufacturers refusing to offer 340B pricing when drugs are dispensed at community pharmacies.
- 340B Savings Stretch Scarce Resources: Prior to COVID-19, JPS Health Network offered primary and some specialty care for the homeless population in Fort Worth, including a mobile van, hepatitis C and HIV clinics, and nurse practitioners in shelters. Nicole emphasized the importance of 340B in making these service offerings possible.
- Shelter-in-Place and the Homeless Community: When Fort Worth and Tarrant County issued stay-home orders, regional homeless shelters closed, leaving their residents without access to medical clinics or a place to receive prescriptions. The city then made its Civic Center available to several hundred residents without shelter, and JPS made health care services normally accessed at its clinics and a mobile van available at the Civic Center.
- Meeting the Challenge with Innovation: In addition to expanding its care offerings to the Civic Center, JPS installed iPads and phones in private areas there so that residents could take advantage of telehealth offerings. In addition, JPS initiated prescription delivery to the Civic Center.
- Maintaining 340B Compliance: JPS worked to ensure it remained complaint with 340B as it delivered care both to patients it had an existing relationship with as well as first-time patients. In some cases, prescriptions were not eligible for 340B due to program eligibility rules.
- Best Practices and Silver Linings: The pandemic has led to JPS discovering new best practices for serving a community of underserved patients that can be hard to reach. JPS found that delivering patients their medications rather than asking patients to come to the pharmacy led to improved medication adherence rates and lower hemoglobin A1C and blood pressure levels. As a result, Nicole says many of these best practices are continuing even though the Civic Center shelter operations have closed.
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