This week's edition of Technically details how NCSD helped the California Department of Public Health support the enrollment of California state prison 340B STD sites.
NCSD’s 340B experts, Stephanie Arnold Pang and Erin Fratto
April 23, 2021
A challenge experienced by STD programs
People in prisons and jails are disproportionately affected by STDs, Hepatitis C, and HIV. Routine communicable disease screening is considered a standard of care for correctional facilities, with the CDC providing recommendations and guidance specifically for these populations. Because of the cross over between prisons and public health, many STD programs and correctional facilities across the country are working together to navigate the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The partnership between correctional facilities and STD programs provides access to deeply discounted medications to deliver appropriate and timely treatment to incarcerated individuals, and offers opportunities to increase routine STD screening and provide comprehensive sexual health services within correctional facilities. These activities improve the health of communities both in and outside of correctional facilities.
Technical assistance tools and resources
NCSD’s 340B expertise helped the California Department of Public Health understand the 340B program, interpret eligibility requirements, work out a patient definition, design a compliant and audit-ready program, and support the enrollment of 36 unique California state prison 340B STD sites. NCSD connected California with other states who work closely with correctional facilities across their jurisdiction and who are enrolled in the 340B program. NCSD not only facilitated valuable peer-to-peer technical assistance, interpreted HRSA policy, and provided best practices and recommendations, they also served as a phone-a-friend, always available to NCSD members in California.
Next steps for the STD Program
The California prison healthcare system’s 340B drug pricing program will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2021, with STD medications purchased utilizing the 340B drug pricing program. Medication savings will be used to expand care for incarcerated individuals, which will have a direct benefit to public health and California’s STD program. The California Department of Public Health continues to provide training opportunities throughout the year to the California prison healthcare system, increasing their STD knowledge and sexual health capacity.