NuHealth Rolls Out Drug Discounts

Posted by Mama Yauk Wednesday, July 20, 2011 0 comments

Nassau University Medical Center
2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554
www.nuhealth.net     516-572-5809
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Amid consumers’ ongoing problems affording prescription medications, the NuHealth System has implemented a trio of programs, including collaborations with drug stores, to lower the cost or provide free prescriptions for the needy.
The East Meadow-based parent of Nassau University Medical Center over the past year launched three programs designed to provide cheaper, or free, medications to those who qualify.
“We want to ensure that our vulnerable patients receive continued, affordable access to low cost medication,” NuHealth CEO Arthur A. Gianelli said.
The cost of prescription medications has long been a problem for many patients, particularly those who lack insurance and.
“Access to medications is a challenge to many of the patients we serve,” said Dr. Steven J. Walerstein, NuHealth’s executive vice president for medical affairs and medical director. “Our approach should help address this issue.”
NuHealth, in its most recent part of what Gianelli called a “three-pronged approach,” as of June 13 began  collaborating with Walgreens, which offers prescription medications to outpatients at a reduced cost through the federal “340B” drug pricing program.
The discounts are available to patients receiving treatment at NUMC’s outpatient center and one of NuHealth’s Federally Qualified Health Centers in Roosevelt, Hempstead, Westbury, Elmont and Freeport.
Karl Meehan, Walgreens’ vice president of health systems programs, said “this new relationship with NuHealth” will let Walgreens provide “convenient access to deeply discounted prescriptions” at 21 Walgreens pharmacies, including five 24-hour locations, on Long Island.
The federal government through its 304B program provides discounted drugs at thousands of facilities, certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “covered entities.”
NuHealth in April began offering a SampleMD Program, providing patients with coupons to obtain free prescription medication from seven days to a month in pharmacies.
Marcelle Levy-Santoro, Nassau University Medical Center’s director of pharmacy, said the hospital became the first “demonstration site for Long Island” for this system. “I believe the program could have a great impact toward improving compliance and health care outcomes for patients in need,” he said.
Rochester, Mich.-based OPTIMIZERx Corp. developed SampleMD to let physicians print and electronically distribute prescription trial vouchers, co-pay coupons and other patient information from their computers.
Merck & Co., Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Abbott Laboratories, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals., Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and Warner Chilcott Co. all work with SampleMD.
NuHealth last summer also launched its own Patient Assistance Program in which pharmacy staff provide medications free for eligible patients in the medical center’s service area. Gianelli said the hospital already provided about $600,000 in free medications through that initiative.
“For those who have no means of paying for their medications, NuHealth will process them [through the Patient Assistance Program] and help to obtain free medications for an indefinite period of time,” Gianelli said.
This article was originally written by Claude Solnik. View the original article HERE.

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