Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma’s low-income patients needed access to medication, but the big pharmacies said there wasn’t enough business to make it worthwhile. There was only one solution: find a pharmacy that placed people ahead of profits.
Like many rural areas, several counties in northeastern Oklahoma lacked access to healthcare. Affordable prescriptions were a particular problem. In 2014, Community Health Center of Northeast Oklahoma (CHCNEO) began opening clinics and other facilities to help residents.
But skyrocketing prices for medications put many medicines, especially life-saving treatments, out of reach for many residents.
For two and a half years, CHCNEO approached potential pharmacy partners about starting a 340B program. The problem: There weren’t enough patients and profits to interest the large pharmacies.
None of them saw the potential of working with CHCNEO and growing prescription volume over time. The organization and its patients felt helpless and frustrated.
Boca Pharmacy Group was eager to help CHCNEO get started with the 340B program, believing that the prescription volume would increase as more patients saw the program’s benefits. CHCNEO and Boca initially partnered at one site. Within two months, the program had expanded to five of CHCNEO’s 10 locations.
Now, rural patients with chronic diseases receive all their medications once a month, delivered to a convenient location of their choice. For frontline staff, partnering with Boca adds minimal time and paperwork to each transaction, with responsive service that boosts efficiency and helps CHCNEO care for patients quickly.
CHCNEO now sees benefits for both the organization and its patients.
Community health improvements
- More low-income and uninsured patients are receiving the medications they need.
- Key clinical indicators, a critical part of the 340B program, are steadily improving.
- Patients with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and/or congestive heart failure, now receive the medications they need.
- Patient compliance rates have significantly increased.
- Diabetic patients only pay $10/month for insulin, rather than the hundreds they previously paid.
- Patients no longer rely on samples or ration their medications.
- Seniors without Medicare Part B don’t have to choose between eating or filling prescriptions.
- Enrolling new patients in the program only takes four to five minutes, and Boca
Pharmacy acts on prescriptions right away. When formularies change, Boca takes care of everything.
In addition, CHCNEO has seen significant savings from the program and the partnership – and expects those savings to increase. Reimbursement is timely, and the reimbursement amounts are accurate.
“Their hearts are in line with ours. Boca is a responsive, professional pharmaceutical company that cares about patients first, bottom line second.”
—Patrick Peer, Former CEO, CHCNEO