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Local hospital part of stewardship program

BREWER and PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Northern Light Health, which includes Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, on Nov. 29 signed on to an American Hospital Association initiative concerning medication access for vulnerable populations.

Section 340B of the Public Health Service Act requires pharmaceutical manufacturers participating in the Medicaid drug rebate program to sell outpatient drugs at discounted prices to taxpayer-supported healthcare facilities that care for uninsured and low-income people.

According to a press release from Northern Light Health System, the 340B program has been critical in helping hospitals expand access to lifesaving prescription drugs and comprehensive healthcare services in vulnerable communities across the country throughout its 25-year history.

Earlier this year, the AHA board appointed a 340B task force to develop a national framework outlining good stewardship of the 340B program. Michelle Hood, president and CEO of Northern Light Health, served on the national task force representing the outstanding work of Northern Light Health 340B hospitals.

Hood said, “Today, Northern Light Health joins hospitals across the country in signing onto the AHA 340B Stewardship Principles Program. This new AHA-led initiative will strengthen the 340B program by increasing transparency while helping 340B hospitals better communicate the immense value of the program for vulnerable patients and communities.”

Every 340B hospital adopts the following principles as the foundation for good stewardship of the program: communicating the value of the 340B program on an annual basis describing how the savings benefit the community; disclosing hospital 340B estimated savings annually; and commitment to performing rigorous internal oversight and reviews to ensure that the hospital 340B program meets HRSA program rules and guidance.

With official endorsement of the 340B Stewardship Principles program, Hood, commented, “The 340B program helps provide a range of healthcare services to Maine’s underserved and uninsured patients and communities. Providing good stewardship of 340B will help ensure that participating hospitals can offer these comprehensive services that expand patient access to care.”

Northern Light Health Section 340B covered entities include Northern Light AR Gould Hospital, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Northern Light Inland Hospital, Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Northern Light CA Dean Hospital and Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital.

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