DuBois Regional Medical Center
For release: Dec. 18, 2011
DuBois Regional Medical Center has found a way to help its patients with prescription drug costs.
As of Dec. 14, DRMC is a participant in the federal government’s 340B program that helps eligible patients receive discounted prescription drugs.
If you do not have prescription drug coverage at all or your coverage does not cover a medication that you must have, 340B may be able to help, according to Francis Iorfido, director of Pharmacy at DRMC.
340B is a federal drug program that has been around since 1992 to provide deeply discounted drugs to entities that qualify. DRMC has been a 340B hospital since 2004. It qualified for the program because of the high usage of its services by Medicare and Medicaid patients, charity care provided and services provided to the Free Clinic of DuBois, according to Pat Cressley, chief financial officer at DRMC.
Under new guidelines from the Health Care Reform Bill passed by Congress in March 2010, the program was expanded to allow hospitals the ability to contract with local pharmacies to offer these discounted drugs to fill patient's prescriptions. This program may boost DRMC’s bottom line through government reimbursements, but it also is a help to its patients.
What does this mean for DRMC patients? Savings. Patients without insurance will save up to 60 percent on the cost of a drug.
It can also help patients who have prescription insurance that does not cover certain medications.
How does someone get this savings? The first qualifying point is to be a patient of DRMC. DRMC considers anyone a patient if it maintains a medical record for him or her. This can be through a hospital stay or through a DRMC-owned physician practice.
The next step is to register and receive a card and information. Registering is easy. Patients can visit their DRMC-owned family doctors or specialist and talk to the office staff. Or if a patient is admitted to the hospital, DRMC Social Services staff can be contacted.
After getting one’s paperwork in line, the next step is to choose a pharmacy. Only participating pharmacies that have agreed to participate will have the discounts. To date, those include City Drug of Curwensville, DuBois Drug & Wellness, Means Lauf Super Drug, and The Medicine Shoppe in DuBois and Brookville. Hometown Pharmacy in Brockway, St. Marys Pharmacy and Bennett's Valley Pharmacy have their paperwork pending and will soon be on the list. Other pharmacies are in the process of filing paperwork and will be joining the list, too. If you are not sure if your pharmacy is participating or is about to participate, ask, Iorfido said.
DRMC is working with SUN Rx who oversees the government’s program. You will see that name on documents and flyers for the program at the hospital, DRMC doctor’s offices and at participating pharmacies in the area.
The same program is also being used by Brookville Hospital, Iorfido said. If a patient is unsure about the program or if he or she qualifies, staff at any doctor’s office or participating pharmacy can help.