Maple City Health Care Center will offer a new program to reduce the cost of medicine for low-income patients.
"We expect that the new program will lower the cost of many of the pharmaceuticals that our patients need," said James Nelson Gingerich, the center’s director.
The new program is called the federal 340B Drug Discount Program. The program helps patients of safety-net health care providers.
"We estimate that our patients will benefit from a general savings of from 20 percent to 50 percent on many prescriptions," Dr. Gingerich said, "but some drugs will cost much less. For example, many of our diabetic patients need a drug called Actos. The published cost of Actos is $162 for 30 tablets. With the 340B discount, the cost to our patients will be $4 for the same 30 tablets."
Maple City Health Care Center serves people who live in the neighborhoods on the north and east sides of Goshen. About 70 percent of the center’s patients live on incomes at or below the Federal Poverty Line. About 20 percent are uninsured and about 70 percent are Hispanic.
"The reason that patients of Maple City Health Care Center will now qualify for the 340B Drug Discount Program is because the center recently earned designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike," explained Dr. Gingerich.
The center won Federally Qualified Health Center designation in late November 2010.
"All of us here on the staff and the board of the center are very pleased about the new drug discount program. We know many people struggle to pay for the medicine they need," Dr. Gingerich said. "In the past, some people tried to live without their prescriptions. Now, these medications will be much more affordable."
The 340B Drug Discount Program fits Maple City Health Care Center because the center’s mission is to improve the health of the community by providing affordable and accessible health care.
"The 340B Drug Discount Program was an important reason that we applied for FQHC Look-Alike designation," said Dr. Gingerich. "The application was complicated and took several months of staff time, but the benefit to our patients makes it worth the effort."
Maple City Health Care Center will work through some governmental red tape in the next few months, but the center expects that patients will start to see lower bills for medicine by the first of April.
For more information about Maple City Health Care Center, see their web site at www.mchcc.com.