Northern Light Inland Hospital 340B Benefits
FY19 savings: $5,713,772 Million
Northern Light Inland Hospital is a member of Northern Light Health, and as a member, we are committed to building a better healthcare system for all the people of Maine. Our mission is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve. Participation in the 340B program helps us to provide comprehensive healthcare services and life-saving prescriptions to our community.
As a 340B hospital, we purchase medications for qualified patients at a reduced rate from drug companies. The savings are reinvested in services and programs that benefit the patients we serve. While some services are covered by insurance, Medicare and MaineCare reimburse us at a payment rate far below the actual cost to provide care. Other services provide significant benefit to our patients but are not covered by any insurance program. In addition to programs and services in the areas identified below, Northern Light Inland Hospital experienced losses associated to free “charity” care provided last fiscal year amounting to over $1 million dollars. We are committed to our patients, their families, and each other and will provide the care needed, no matter what the situation.
Please see a list below of some of the benefits provided to our community through this program.
340B Program Benefits
Women’s Health: Women want to stay healthy and they want convenience in every aspect of their lives. Northern Light Women’s Health offers the highest quality OB/GYN services, with connection to our birthing center and imaging services with 3D mammography. Inland provides all the specialty care women may need at every age and stage of life.
A unique part of our women’s health service includes a Community Health Navigator program, which assists patients - free of charge - to connect with community resources that help them overcome barriers to good health, such as lack of transportation to medical appointments, housing, and food insecurity. 340B funds are vital because the Navigator services are not reimbursable.
We understand the challenge that patients and families experience when they travel long distances to access specialty care. Savings from the 340B program support Inland Hospital cardiologists and rheumatologists to care for patients in our local community as the cost of providing these services exceeds the reimbursement we receive.
The 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment report documents that access to affordable and reliable transportation in Kennebec County was problematic resulting in difficulty accessing health services. Transportation is further complicated for older adults with mobility impairments. The percentage of adults in Kennebec County over the age of 65 and living alone is higher than the state overall average.
Diabetes and Nutrition
Our diabetes and nutrition specialists are committed to providing the highest quality of healthcare services to patients with diabetes and nutrition-related disorders. Offering valuable medical management and education of these health conditions is our top priority.
The 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment documents that addressing challenges related to lack of physical activity, nutrition and weight rank as top health priorities for Kennebec County. The percentage of high school students who are obese is higher than the state average and the percentage of high school students who reported eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day is decreasing. Kennebec County also has a high percentage of adults that live a sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity on a monthly basis. The percentage of individuals in Kennebec County with diabetes is slightly higher than the state average.
To provide the community with an easy way to stay active close to home, Inland created the Inland Woods Trail on the hospital campus, which connects to miles of city-owned trails. In addition, Inland’s work with the Let’s Go! 5210 childhood obesity prevention program brings healthy habit messages to schools, medical practices, and the community. Our Family Fun Series connects families with kids to free resources and events that help them stay active together and learn about good nutrition. Trail maintenance and our Let’s Go outreach is supported by 340B funding.
The Importance of Maintaining the 340B Program
As Mainers, we are in this together. And, at Northern Light Health, we are dedicated to ensuring our communities have access to the very best in healthcare. We tirelessly advocate to make sure essential services are maintained close to home for you. Reducing or eliminating our participation in the 340B program would greatly increase the risk of not be able to provide these services to our patients.