We are excited to announce that we are building our own Pharmacy to serve employees, patients and visitors of LCHC. The Pharmacy will be built on the first floor of the 269 Mantzoukas building, next to the OB-GYN team.
Why are we building a pharmacy?
We are developing this Pharmacy to serve patients, employees, and visitors of the health center. Our goal is to ensure access to low-cost and affordable prescription medications for residents of Lynn and surrounding communities, especially patients who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or low-income.
- Improved ability to provide treatment to patients without insurance (6% of our patients)
- Coordination of treatment between pharmacy and specialists
- Integration of clinical pharmacists with our care team
- Ability to respond to future epidemics
- Stocking of pharmacy with culturally specific products from our patients’ cultures
- Increased revenue for the health center to support our non-reimbursed services
Our Pharmacy will provide significant benefits for over 40,000 patients. One key advantage will be the improved quality of care, resulting from the integration of clinical pharmacists with our health care teams. Pharmacists will have access to patient records through our EPIC instance, which will increase medication reconciliations and reduce medication errors.
The in-house pharmacy will increase patient engagement, enhance patient agency, and improve management of chronic conditions, empowering patients to take charge of their health. We are thrilled to ensure our ability to provide prescription medications and other treatment for approximately 4,500 patients who are uninsured or underinsured, and support other non-reimbursed services offered by the health center to improve access and remove barriers to care.
Pharmacy Groundbreaking Ceremony
Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, CEO, welcomed distinguished guests to LCHC on Monday, August 8th, as we kicked off National Health Center Week 2022. These included Lynn Mayor Jared Nicholson, Congressman Seth Moulton, the Lynn State Delegation and members of the Lynn City Council, as well as a number of LCHC Board members. Additionally, we were joined by our LCHC Executive Team, representatives from the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, and Pharmacy Project Team Members.
We are the largest provider of primary health care and behavioral health services in Lynn, and our goal with this pharmacy project is to ensure access to low-cost and affordable prescription medications for this community, especially patients who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or low-income. To develop and implement this project, we have partnered with Community Care Cooperative (C3), a MassHealth accountable care organization created by federally qualified health centers to better serve our communities.
Why now? LCHC has long participated in the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program to ensure access to affordable prescription medications for our patients. In recent years, pharmaceutical manufacturers have increasingly places barriers and challenges to 340B participation, reducing patients’ access to affordable prescription medications, and beginning in 2020, manufacturers started limiting 340B drugs shipped to covered entities’ contract pharmacies. Additionally, they have started carving our medications and excluding them from coverage.
Since 2018, the health center’s income from 340B participation, which we use to subsidize medications for uninsured patients and to expand services to the greater Lynn community, has significantly decreased. The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has been working through the court system to address these actions by pharmaceutical manufacturers.
In the meantime, there is an urgent need for the health center to develop pharmacy services, which will allow us to better manage access and minimize the impact of the 340B Program challenges on our patient population.
Opening our own pharmacy benefits all of our patients. It will improve the quality of care resulting from the integration of clinical pharmacists with our health care teams. Clinical pharmacists will have access to patient records through our internal electronic health record system, which will increase medication reconciliations and reduce medication errors. In-house clinical pharmacists will facilitate care coordination and consultation with primary care providers, as well as specialists. The in-house pharmacy will increase patient engagement, enhance patient agency, and improve management of chronic conditions, empowering patients to take charge of their health. We will also enhance our ability to integrate our response to future epidemics by providing immunizations in the pharmacy.
We are grateful to those sponsors and partners who are already supporting these plans.
— Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, CEO