Pharmacy residents are faced with almost limitless opportunities to identify gaps in knowledge and devise plans to bridge those gaps. As a PGY1/2 HSPAL resident, I have been able to appreciate administration and finance as areas that my university education barely scratched the surface of. While sitting in on meetings, I often had more questions than answers. In particular, I was mystified by the details of the 340B program. How does our organization administer it, and how exactly do savings on outpatient drugs allow us to expand services? Trying to conduct my own research by slogging through HRSA’s website and other resources only left the picture muddier.
The 340B bootcamp was among the first learning opportunities presented to me. This three-part virtual lecture series covered the basics of the 340B program. I dove into a new world of compliance, audits, billing, and reimbursement. These presentations and the live Q&A sessions answered many of my original questions, but my curiosity continued to grow. Although I had become acquainted with the basics, the specifics continued to elude me.
Now, with a greater degree of understanding, I have gained more from our 340B team’s meetings. Our organization, a Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH), relies on savings from 340B drug purchases to fund programs like prescription discounts, free prescription delivery, free diabetes testing supplies, and clinical pharmacist support. Like in many organizations, our program is overseen by pharmacy. During these meetings, our team carefully discusses compliance, the proportion of 340B-eligible patients we are serving at our outpatient locations, and ways to maximize our savings. This has been a valuable “peek behind the curtain,” so to speak. I am now able to actively participate in discussions regarding contract pharmacies, expanding service lines, and other topics.
As I progress into the second year of my residency training, I am excited to pursue further opportunities to learn about the 340B program and how our organization can leverage it. One of the many joys of being a resident is having your program’s support in crafting meaningful learning experiences. Further opportunities such as the 340B Coalition Meeting, the 340B University through Apexus, and the Apexus Advanced 340B Operations Certificate Program are on my horizon. Participating in the 340B bootcamp has opened the door to another facet of pharmacy.
Although I have learned a great deal about the 340B program, the real takeaway from this experience has been more global. It is often said that growth begins at the end of your comfort zone. Those early moments of confusion were a catalyst to start a new journey. Moving through the remainder of my residency training and on into my career, this experience will stand as another reminder to stay curious and seek opportunities to learn wherever I go.
About the Author:
Amanda Giggy is a PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration and leadership (HSPAL) resident at Regional One Health in Memphis, Tennessee. Amanda completed her PGY1 training at Regional One and graduated from the University of South Florida Health Taneja College of Pharmacy in Tampa. Her professional interests include transitions of care, process improvement, and medication safety. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, hiking, camping, and DIY projects of all varieties.
Disclaimer: The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in these articles are solely those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). These articles are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical, legal, or financial advice. This information is intended for a clinical pharmacy audience, but is not a substitute for professional judgment. ACCP disclaims all liability regarding any actions taken or not taken based on this information, including impact on patient care and the decisions made by the individual providing care. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked website is solely at your own risk.