As you may know, federally funded Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) provide comprehensive care to people with bleeding and clotting disorders. HTCs bring together an experienced team of doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists and other health professionals. HTCs have received some government support to provide these services since 1973, but while the numbers of patients, complexity of care, demands, and health care costs have gone up, federal funding levels have gone down.
Benefits of 340B programs
As an outpatient, you can choose to buy clotting factor through your HTC. The 340B program, created by Congress in 1992 as part of the Veteran’s Health Care Act, allows HTCs to purchase clotting factor at a discount for their patients. Home care companies and pharmacies that are independent of the HTC do not qualify for this discount. Some of the savings provided to HTCs can be passed along to you, which can lower your cost for factor purchased through the HTC.
The most important benefit of the 340B program is that it provides funding for your HTC. These funds make it possible for HTCs to continue serving you with the high level of services and quality of care you expect. Without these additional funds, the cutbacks in government funding will leave HTCs without enough money to continue these services. With the funds from 340B factor sales HTCs will be able to continue providing comprehensive care, and perhaps even expand some services.
Use of program income
The federal government requires that all income made through the 340B program must be used only to maintain and improve comprehensive care at the HTC and provide research on better treatments. 340B funds allow HTCs to support staffing, provide patient services such as consumer and staff educational programs, and provide other services that promote patient care.
Ordering and support
If you currently use a home care company, ordering from the 340B program will be very similar. Your HTC staff places the order for your clotting factor and supplies, which are delivered directly to you. Nursing services for home infusion are available through this service as well. Your insurance claims are filed for you and customer support is available for billing and claims questions.
You will continue to receive all available HTC services even if you choose not to participate in your HTC’s 340B program. Keep in mind, however, that HTC services will be available only as long as they have the needed funding.
Using the 340B factor program is entirely voluntary — the choice is up to you.
Frequently asked questions
How does using a 340B program benefit me?
When you buy clotting factor from your HTC, you are helping to make sure that the center has enough funds to continue providing the best quality comprehensive care for you. The cost to you and your insurance may be less. Also, the close relationship between the pharmacy and your HTC helps assure that there are no communication gaps.
Do I have to change my clotting factor product if I switch to a 340B program?
No, you should be able to get the same clotting factor you are using now.
Does clotting factor cost more if I get it through the 340B program?
Actually, since HTCs purchase factor at a discounted rate, your cost may be less.
Will I still receive home nursing and other support and services if I switch to the 340B program?
Ordering from the 340B program will be very similar to your current experience. Your HTC staff places the order for your clotting factor and supplies and files your insurance claims. Nursing services for home infusion and other support services for billing and claims questions are available.
If I choose not to use the 340B program, will my HTC services be affected?
No, you will continue to receive all of the available HTC services, as long as the center continues to have funding.
For more information on 340B programs and deciding the best option for you and your family, talk to your HTC.
Additional information is also available on the Region III/Mid-Atlantic website or visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website.