340B Programs and Data Conversions: What Pharmacies Need to Know
July 14th, 2020
340B programs can cause challenges in data conversions, as they are unique. Find out what every pharmacy needs to know about 340B and data conversions.
340B programs can cause challenges during pharmacy data conversions. This critical information is a migration necessity. However, we’ve found in our years of working with pharmacies; this can be a data element that causes challenges.
With our experience and expertise, we’re sharing what pharmacies need to know about 340B programs and data conversions.
Why Is 340B Data Different?
340B is radically different from other types of prescriptions for several reasons:
- It’s a government program with no cost to patients
- The prescription process
- Inventory management
It’s a No Cost Program
340B is a government program that provides medication free of charge to qualified patients. Pharmaceutical companies must participate in Medicaid to sell outpatient drugs at lower prices. Most healthcare organizations use it to serve uninsured or low-income individuals.
The intent of the program was to help providers stretch federal resources and provide care to more individuals.
The Prescription Process
Only authorized physicians can write 340B prescriptions. They must be employees of a federal grantee or nonprofit group that contracts to deliver care on behalf of the government. The prescription can only be for outpatient use and must be on the 340B formulary.
For a patient to receive such a prescription, he or she must have an established relationship with the provider.
Thus, it’s different from a standard prescription from a physician.
What’s truly unique about 340B is that it’s a separate inventory database. It’s not part of your other inventory. As a pharmacy, you don’t pay for the inventory, but you still have to track it. Effectively tracking it is necessary because of the dispensing fee you collect.
Since it’s a separate database, it’s an extra step in the data conversion process. When you decide to migrate to a new pharmacy software system, your 340B database should be a central topic of discussion.
We work with our pharmacy customers to discuss how the information rests in their current system and how it will map to the new system. We then create a migration plan to ensure accuracy, compliance, and completeness. This process may include special programming.
It’s not just a new field to convert; it’s a database. We urge all pharmacies to have in-depth conversations about 340B migration. Addressing at the start of the project is ideal. It’s not something you want to leave until later in the process.
Be Confident in Your 340B Conversion
Something we want all our customers to feel when they work with us is confident. Confident that your data will be accurate, accessible, interoperable, and portable. We’re always glad to share the tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.
Go in-depth on the data conversion process by reading our post, What Is a Data Conversion?