The 340B Drug Discount Program stems from the Office of Pharmacy Affairs’ mission to promote access to cost effective pharmacy services. 340B allows covered entities to “stretch scarce Federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services” as covered entities receive an average savings of 25-50% on outpatient drug purchases for 340B; those savings are then used to reduce the price of pharmaceuticals for patients.
To participate in the 340B Program, eligible organizations and covered entities must register and be enrolled with the 340B program and comply with all 340B program requirements. New registrations are accepted January 1-15, April 1-15, July 1-15, and October 1-15 each year. Covered entities must recertify their eligibility annually and notify the Office of Pharmacy Affairs whenever there is a change in eligibility.
It has been said that 340B implementation is a journey, not a destination, and those that choose to take the journey need to remain focused on continuous compliance every step of the way. Suggestions for success include dedicating the right resources, creating a 340B committee, and establishing appropriate self-audit and external-audit practices to drive continual compliance and help ensure that the answer is always ‘yes’ when asked if ready for a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) audit.1
Pharmacy software with 340B capability is another recommended compliance piece with 340B. When researching software capable of assisting a 340B operation, recommended features to consider include:
*Multiple Inventories – 340B guidelines require that only 340B eligible prescriptions be filled using 340B eligible inventory. Pharmacy software should have the ability to group drugs and maintain individual and group quantity on hands for reorder and filling purposes.
*Inventory Management – If a patient, facility, or prescriber is 340B-specific, pharmacy software can save time by automatically assigning the prescription to the 340B inventory at the filling of a new prescription or refill.
*Reporting Capabilities – Software with a robust reporting system helps eliminate some stress when it’s time for an audit. Having an accessible record of required information at the click of a mouse is possible with advanced reporting functionality in pharmacy management software systems.
340B can seem like an intimidating opportunity, but many facilities are successfully participating. Multiple resources are available for assistance from registration to implementation to compliance and audit protection assistance. For more information about 340B, please visit www.hrsa.gov/opa or www.340bpvp.com (Apexus).
1Neal, Daniel. “Are We There Yet? 340B: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination.” Thought Leadership. Cardinal Health, 29 Feb. 2016. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.
While it may go against time management recommendations, sometimes you just need to sit down, pop the top on a box of crayons, and color as a grownup. When you pick up a crayon, marker, or colored pencil, the power of stress relief is in your hand; coloring “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress,” says psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala.1
Using stress management techniques can help you relax and deal with stress. Incorporating a variety of coloring opportunities can help your employees, customers, and patients master this important life skill as well:
*Make coloring pages available in the waiting area. Being able to color while waiting for a prescription can help patients relax, even for just a moment. “When we focus on a particular activity like coloring, there is a de-stressing effect simply because we are focused on it and not on our worries,” says Ayala.1Mini coloring pages are available to keep costs down and can be ordered online or printed in-house; individual mini packages of colored pencils are also available for individual use to keep coloring utensils sanitary.
*Stocking coloring books on your pharmacy’s shelves could lead to additional sales. Coloring books for adults have become a trend and there are many adult coloring books on several best-seller lists. Stocking colored pencils, crayons, or markers makes your pharmacy a one-stop-shop for stress-free gift giving, both for the shopper and the recipient.
*Have a staff coloring party as a de-stressing, team-building exercise, or set aside a little bit of time each week for staff to color. There is little room for imperfections in a pharmacy, so “allowing oneself to ‘create’ in the artistic endeavor means that you are loosening up all the tight muscles in your mind and body that restrict and constrict you in everyday life – leading to stress. Coloring/art gives you permission to free flow and not go for particular outcomes (a source of self-imposed stress),” says Psychologist Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. Coloring can help lead to productive discussions focused on stress relief along with team strengthening because it may be possible to verbalize and work through factors that led to stress after coloring. 2
*Host a “Bring-Your-Own-Book” coloring club at your pharmacy in honor of Stress Awareness Month to attract new business to your store and to promote stress relief “one page at a time.” “Adults who color might like how they are carried back to their carefree youth and the age of wonder,” says psychologist Craig Travis.3 “Adult coloring is a creative venture without the need for artistic flair. One simply needs to color within the lines in order to get the desired effect,” says Dana Dovey.4
Below are three links to free coloring pages with abstract, symmetrical patterns designed with grown-up stress relief in mind2 to share with staff and customers. Please click the image for a PDF download.
1Santos, Elena. “Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress.” Huffpost Arts & Culture. The Huffington Post, 13 Oct. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
2White, Mary Gormandy, M.A., SHRM-SCP, SPHR. “Adult Coloring Pages for Stress Relief.” Health. LoveToKnow, 1 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
3Ward, Allison. “Grown-ups Find Coloring Books a Break from Stress.” News. The Washington Times, 13 Dec. 2014. Web. 22 Mar. 2016.
4Dovey, Dana. “The Therapeutic Science Of Adult Coloring Books.” Under The Hood. Medical Daily, 08 Oct. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.