Ben Kelly, VP, Pharmacy Management, Maxor 340B
Ben Kelly, Maxor 340B

How One Pharmacy Successfully Pivoted to an Entity-Owned Pharmacy to Overcome Mounting 340B Restrictions

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When large drug manufacturers began restricting 340B drug discounts for contract pharmacies in 2020, Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation (CBWF) decided to pivot from a co-located pharmacy to entity owned. By doing so, the Community Health Center, which provides services to several rural counties in south Texas, would avoid the restrictions placed on contract pharmacies and continue to benefit from the 340B program.

At the time, CBWF had already partnered with Maxor 340B to design a turnkey, on-site pharmacy and run the day-to-day operations. Overall, the partnership with Maxor 340B was helping CBWF:

  • Enhance their quality of patient care
  • Optimize data transparency and accuracy
  • Improve financial performance
  • Gain access to specially trained pharmacy staff
  • Integrate medical and pharmacy information for patients and providers

When CBWF decided to operate as a wholly-owned pharmacy, Maxor 340B embraced the opportunity to collaborate and make the transition as seamless as possible.

Here are three ways that Maxor 340B—which continues to run day-to-day pharmacy operations at CBWF—supported the transition and ongoing success of CBWF:

1. Generating Unforeseen Cost Savings

Maxor 340B’s flexible pricing structure and full visibility into financial performance led to significant cost savings for CBWF, which was beneficial as it transitioned to an entity-owned pharmacy. Maxor 340B helped CBWF navigate the move into a new building, with several capital-intensive projects and new service offerings.

The savings generated by Maxor 340B was greater than CBWF had experienced with prior TPAs, allowing it to expand services to the community. For example, they were able to keep the pharmacy open during the pandemic with live phone service, mail delivery, and curbside pickup.

“The Maxor model has been much more profitable,” said Bill Hoelscher, CEO at CBWF. “That increased savings came at the right time, as we were moving into a new building with new programs and services.”

CBWF’s revenues jumped 28% in 2021, while patient satisfaction ratings reached a nearly perfect 99%. In addition, the facility experienced an 80% capture rate for specialty pharmacy and experienced growth in both testing and mobile pharmacy services.

2. Recruiting and Retaining Skilled, Culture-Centric Staff Members

CBWF’s success as an entity-owned pharmacy hinged on its ability to attract and retain staff members that could support its community’s unique needs. The organization has a large rural constituency and provides primary care, mental health and substance use disorder programs, infectious disease testing, and youth drug education. Many of their 3,500-plus patients are within the LGBTQ+ community and living with HIV/AIDS.

“We really needed this to be a true collaboration,” said Hoelscher. “As an AIDS service organization, we have several LGBTQ+ community members, and we need to be very sensitive and hire staff with the right culture fit. What helped make this partnership successful was that Maxor 340B really took a deep interest in who they hired.”

Maxor 340B worked hard to deploy a pharmacy team at CBWF that was familiar with the goals of a Community Health Center, as well as the obstacles that the LGBTQ+ community and AIDS community face.

“We are very selective about who we hire, and we’re focused on cultural fit,” said Ben Kelly, Vice President, Pharmacy Operations at Maxor 340B. “Our pharmacists make themselves easily accessible to the clinic staff and to patients — whom they know by name. It’s really like a family.”

All pharmacy staff members are trained at the clinic’s PRIDE Center on cultural sensitivities, making the pharmacy a Safe Zone LGBTQ+ Community Ally in Corpus Christi.

3. Building Patient Loyalty and Enhancing Care Through Creative Initiatives

Maxor 340B also assisted CBWF with developing new services to meet the community’s unique needs and increase patient volumes. For example, they created a hand-delivery program for patients who lacked transportation. Now, approximately 40% of their patients have their prescriptions delivered.

In addition, CBWF has a robust patient assistance program through which qualifying individuals can receive prescription and lab assistance, as well as other benefits. Maxor 340B helped streamline the system by automating CBWF’s voucher system, creating alerts for eligible patients, and tracking monthly program spending.

Maxor 340B is also assisting CBWF with gaining approval from the state of Texas for a drug dispensing machine at a nearby clinic that would make it easier for patients to obtain their prescription medications. Maxor 340B and CBWF are also collaborating on streamlining the receipt and distribution of new HIV injectables, so these medications can reach consumers in the most efficient way possible.

Collaborative Partnerships Pave the Way for Growth

By collaborating with Maxor 340B, Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation not only achieved its initial goals but saw many unexpected gains as well. Unforeseen cost savings, the ability to recruit and retain a quality team, and building brand loyalty all added up to a successful partnership that continues to pay strong dividends and enhance care for the patients CBWF serves.

Are you looking to mitigate the growing challenges faced from the 340B restrictions? Maxor 340B can help you determine your cost savings with a free 340B consultation. Our experts can show you how to best maximize your pharmacy strategy to further improve patient care.

Ben Kelly, VP, Pharmacy Management, Maxor 340B

Ben Kelly is Vice President of Pharmacy Management, Maxor National Pharmacy Services. He can be reached at bkelly@maxor.com.

To learn more about Ben Kelly, read his 340B Report Industry Leader Spotlight here.

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