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Leveraging Cash Cards to Amplify Your Patient Impact

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With impending changes like the Senate’s bipartisan SUSTAIN 340B Act on the horizon, it’s becoming increasingly critical for covered entities to demonstrate tangible benefits and positive patient outcomes because of their participation in the 340B program. In the article below, Larry Crowder, Vice President of 340B at Cervey, explores an innovative strategy to ensure compliance and enhance the effectiveness of the 340B program – the cash card.

Understanding Cash Cards: Cash cards allow covered entities (CE) to provide financial assistance directly into the hand of those patients who need it most. These programs typically involve distributing a letter containing payor information – the BIN/PCN associated with a specific insurance or payment network to a patient who meets certain criteria which allows them to receive discounted or free prescriptions at a partnering retail pharmacy. Patients can use these “cards” to receive a lower co-pay and/or drug cost or, in some cases, have everything covered in full. CEs can use the savings generated from their 340B contract pharmacy program to cover the costs associated with cash cards.

Addressing the Impact of SUSTAIN 340B on Covered Entities: The possible changes addressed in the SUSTAIN 340B Act. and increased attention from other policymakers to good stewardship, underscore the heightened importance for CEs to demonstrate tangible positive patient impact because of the 340B program. As regulatory requirements evolve, entities are compelled to explore innovative strategies that not only ensure compliance but also showcase the program’s effectiveness in directly impacting their patient population. Cash cards emerge as a viable strategy to clearly demonstrate the direct impact of your 340B program’s mission amidst this changing landscape.

Customizing Your Cash Card Program: Implementing a cash card program within your 340B program does not have to be scary.  Caps can be set per patient or based on overall monthly spend.  In addition to those protections, parameters can be set-up at the point-of-sale which requires approval by the CE for larger cash card purchases.  Formularies can be set-up and managed directly by the CE as well.  CEs benefit from the flexibility and control inherent in administering cash cards, allowing for precise management of expenses while ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines. By strategically determining the limitations and eligibility criteria of the program, entities can effectively target patients in need, thereby maximizing the program’s positive impact on patient outcomes. This approach empowers CEs to allocate resources efficiently, fostering a sustainable model that prioritizes patient well-being while readying the program for evolving 340B regulations. Cash cards not only establish a clear positive patient impact but also offers a streamlined approach to managing associated expenses.

Promote Equity and Accessibility: Inequities in healthcare access and affordability persist, disproportionately affecting underserved communities. By leveraging cash cards as part of your 340B program, CEs can help bridge these gaps and promote equitable access to care. By alleviating financial barriers, cash cards empower give patients the ability to fill their prescriptions, keeping them healthy  and helping CEs avoid the costs associated with repeat admissions.

Demonstrating Tangible Patient Impact: In an era marked by increased scrutiny and legislative and regulatory changes, it’s no longer sufficient for 340B entities to operate at status quo. Stakeholders, including policymakers and payers, are increasingly demanding evidence of the positive impact of 340B on patients. Cash cards offer a tangible metric, providing concrete evidence of the program’s effectiveness in improving patient well-being and fostering healthier communities.

Conclusion: As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the ability to demonstrate tangible patient impact will be paramount for the sustained success of 340B programs. By embracing innovative strategies such as implementing cash cards, CEs not only improve the accessibility and affordability of healthcare for vulnerable populations but also position themselves to navigate upcoming regulatory changes with confidence. At Cervey, we remain committed to driving positive patient outcomes and continue to think outside the box on how we can be better partners to CEs. If you’re interested in learning more, please send us an email at contactus@cervey.com.

Larry Crowder is Vice President of 340B Solutions at Cervey.

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