Dear Fellow MKD Members,
Five Horizons Health Services has been a beehive this summer, and staff, teams, and processes are really beginning to gel. It’s energizing and fulfilling to be able to contribute in a professional capacity, and as a result of this experience I can tell you my confidence level is soaring – we’re onto something!
We won’t reach the peak, however, without the vital, incomparable support of our krewe, and I wanted to provide a mid-hiatus update highlighting two key areas - PrEP and Limited Primary Care - where quick gains are needed.
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) Referrals
If you’re not aware of PrEP, here’s a very short synopsis: one pill (Truvada), once per day, 92% efficacy in preventing HIV infection. Learn more about PrEP by visiting the CDC site.
Currently FHHS is the only West Alabama provider of this preventive drug therapy. Our 2018 goal is to have 50 active PrEP patients by December 31 ... which means I’d love to have 60 by December 1. We’re currently about midway there, but with your help I know we can overachieve. How? Referrals to the FHHS clinic.
Please refer any and all of your at-risk friends to the clinic. Like and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tell people HIV infection is now preventable by taking one pill a day. Watch their faces marvel as they process this information. I have honestly been surprised by the awestruck-but-positive reactions, which leads me to believe word-of-mouth will spread quickly. [I’m also in the process of printing some business card-size referral cards for MKD, so we can track our referral-to-patient conversion rate, and will have them at the August meeting. If you refer anyone sooner, have them provide your name to the medical receptionist when they arrive for their visit.]
“The 340B Drug Discount Program is a US federal government program created in 1992 that requires drug manufacturers to provide outpatient drugs to eligible health care organizations and covered entities at significantly reduced prices. The intent of the program is to allow covered entities to 'stretch scarce federal resources as far as possible, reaching more eligible patients and providing more comprehensive services'." Source: Wikipedia.
FHHS was recently approved for the 340B Drug Pricing Program. What does this mean, and why should we care?
1.) Most Reliable Access To Prescription Medicine. To participate in no-cost mail order or in-store pharmacy fill/refill services, patients must consent to 340B funding (a simple form signed at their initial clinic visit). PrEP is effective when it is taken exactly as prescribed, but many local or retail pharmacies don’t keep it in regular inventory. Working with our designated pharmacy partner ensures more seamless access to PrEP prescriptions.
When you’re making referrals, REMIND THEM TO OPT-IN FOR 340B and STRESS THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING ON PrEP EACH MONTH!
2.) Revenue For Agency. Truvada is a very expensive drug. The funding is established/granted at the drug’s market rate, but its manufacturer significantly reduces the cost of the drug to the approved agency. The difference between the funded rate and the actual cost does not have to be repaid by the agency. Our 340B funding is $1,000 per month, per patient.
THIS IS A VERY BIG DEAL, as FHHS can use the surplus funds to administer PrEP or other critical services to individuals who don’t qualify for drug assistance. This is how we can help prevent HIV infection rates in West Alabama regardless of socio-economic status.
It also opens a new revenue stream in a climate where funding sources are increasingly scrutinized, reduced, or altogether eliminated.
Think about it, over the course of 12 months 25 referrals from MKD have the potential to contribute $300,000 of new revenue to FHHS. That’s massive, and there is no cap on this number! We might even consider including any MKD-referred 340B revenue to our total annual contribution. (Food for thought.)
Limited Primary Care
It gets better. No really, it does. And you’re hearing it here first.
Do you suffer from or require treatment for:
· Allergic Rhinitis
· Annual Wellness Examinations
· Contraceptive Management
· Influenza (Flu)
· Sprains and Muscle Strains
· Strep Throat
· Upper Respiratory Infections
· Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
If you’re in Tuscaloosa, simply walk into the FHHS clinic - 2720 6thStreet, Second Floor - to see the nurse practitioner (Jimmy Winters or Tyler Keenum, both of whom arrived directly from heaven on God’s private jet) for prompt and efficient diagnosis and treatment of most common ailments and conditions. Sharonda is our Medical Receptionist, and Nicole is our Medical Assistant. Make sure you tell them you’re a MKD member! We accept both insurance and self-pay.
We’re finalizing a local marketing campaign to introduce this service to the general public, and will keep you informed as it launches.
Additional Services, Events, and Such
- As previously reported, STI/STD testing is available at the clinic for $75. I’ll include more information on this service, along with our in-agency counseling services, in next month’s report.
- FHHS will be a sponsor for Druid City Pride in October. We’ll be setting up our new tailgate tent and offering free oral testing alongside other yet-to-be-finalized-but-certain-to-be-fun activities.
- We’re also sponsoring a game at the United Way Young Leaders Society Trivia Night, July 24, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Bryant Conference Center. This gives us the opportunity to introduce our expanded services to civic-minded and emerging leaders in Tuscaloosa.
- The engagement team is now hired and in place. Suffice it to say they’re all amazing and I pinch myself every other Monday morning when we have our staff meetings:
- Fran Reilly Powe, Community Engagement Coordinator, emphasis on Traditional Community
- Shelvy Crockett, Community Engagement Coordinator, emphasis on African-American Community
- Megan Campbell, Campus Engagement Coordinator for UA, Shelton State, Stillman College
- Graciela de Bonilla, Hispanic/Latinx Engagement Coordinator. She’s a little keg of dynamite and the Hispanic Clinic Billy has long envisioned is rapidly materializing. Our first Hispanic Clinic will be held Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- And, though his process reports to Billy, we intersect daily with Taliafferrio Coleman, Esq., our Legislative Liaison and MKD member-elect, who can only be described not as “a juggernaut” but as “the juggernaut.”
I realize this is wordy, but I wanted to provide more detail than is usually included in the verbal report at regular meetings. Remember, our sites are set on PrEP referrals who opt-in for 340B Drug Pricing, and referrals to the clinic for Limited Primary Care services. Any assistance you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much for your ongoing care and support.