Some of the best benefits a physician shortage designation offers a community come as a result of the puzzle pieces that fall into place once the designation is approved. One great example are Federally Qualified Health Centers and the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
Once the MUA is in place, the door to those benefits swings open. For FQHCs, that means an estimated 20-to-50-percent savings on the costs of prescription drugs.
According to the Health Resources and Service Administration, the drug program’s purpose “is to enable [FQHCs] to stretch scarce federal resources, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services.”
Right now, the benefit to FQHCs is guaranteed because of their unique status. But, things can change.
The staff at HPSA Acumen has had a recent ground-swell of requests for reviews of health professional shortage areas from clients who saw their designations withdrawn — for the first time ever — late last year. There is speculation that the same thing could happen to MUAs and MUPs in the near future. Without a MUA, there can be no FQHC-certification for a health clinic and no ancillary benefits like the 340B program.
For more information on the 340B program and the full list of potential participants, visit the HRSA web site here.