340B Program

340B Program Stewardship

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital: Our 340B Story

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is eligible to participate in the 340B program because it is a safety-net hospital serving approximately 40,000 high desert residents living 93 miles distant to another hospital. The hospital is a nonprofit, full service, acute care hospital and accredited by DNV Healthcare.

The hospital is a 196 bed facility, including 25 inpatient and 125 Skilled Nursing Facility beds. Its outpatient services offer primary and specialty care to a highly diverse patient population. RRH offers a Cancer Center in affiliation with UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network, was awarded the ACR gold seal of accreditation in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, and installed FDA-approved state-of-the-art automated breast screening ultrasound technology clinically proven to increase cancer detection by 35.7 percent. The Emergency Department has been designated by Kern County Public Health as a Level IV trauma center providing stabilization and advanced trauma life support.

Benefits of the 340B Program

Savings from participating in the 340B Program affords patients the high quality of care they deserve, no matter their income level or insurance coverage. The cost savings from reduced drug pricing represent a key factor in the continuum of care, enabling a rural safety-net hospital to provide an array of needed treatments and services, including:

  • The 340B program allowed partnering with Kern County to build a crisis stabilization unit for acute mental health issues as the nearest facility is over two hours away.
  • The 340B program allowed subsidizing children's dental services after the community college and county could no longer fund the program.
  • The 340B program allowed the hospital to take over the community senior services program when the previous organization ran out of funds. The program supports senior independence with information, assistance, case management, and homemaker services.
  • The 340B program allowed the hospital to start a cancer program so residents would not need to drive a minimum of two hours to treatment.
  • The 340B program allowed the hospital to launch a school-based mobile health program targeting underserved children without transportation attending school nine miles away from healthcare services.

340B by the numbers

  • $690,878 – amount of savings from the 340B program in Fiscal Year 2018
  • $3,337,139 – uncompensated care (charity care and bad debt, excluding Medicare)
  • $5,470,982 – Medi-Cal unreimbursed costs
  • 29.3% - Medi-Cal patient load
  • 93 miles distance to closest hospital

Impact if 340B is scaled back

The 340B drug program is a vital lifeline for a safety-net provider, supporting critical health services. The program is paid for with drug discounts and not taxpayer dollars. If 340B savings were lost or scaled back, 340B allowed services would have to be curtailed and physician outreach reduced. This would result in increased travel burden for patients with chronic health conditions and increased transportation costs for lower-income/uninsured patients to drive long distances to needed services.