Founded in 1971, the center is the largest provider of primary and behavioral health services in Lynn, serving 40,000 patients annually, including 35 percent of the city’s residents.
The main driver for the pharmacy project was an economic one, according to Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, the organization’s chief operating officer.
The center participates in 340B, a federal program that requires pharmaceutical companies to sell prescription drugs at a discount to healthcare facilities with large numbers of Medicaid and Medicare patients. Since it does not have its own pharmacy, the Lynn center contracts with local pharmacies to sell their patients their prescriptions.
Because they keep the difference between what the patient’s insurer pays for a drug and what it costs them — minus the amount the centers pay local drug stores for distribution if they don’t have their own pharmacy — participating organizations earn revenue from the 340B program to reinvest in community services and cover the cost of prescription drugs that patients may not be able to afford. Mahaniah said income is invaluable to his center, which uses it to fund the many services it provides — such as substance abuse treatment — that are otherwise “money losers.”
But in recent years, drug companies have begun to sharply restrict the drugs they sell at a discount to facilities without pharmacies, driving that revenue down, Mahaniah said. He said his center, which has seen its $340 billion annual revenue drop from $6 million to $4 million, will be able to largely reverse that loss by building a pharmacy.
“It’s a huge undertaking,” he said. “But without the revenue from this federal program, we would really have to limit other services that we do.”
Officials said the project will also bring benefits to the center’s patients, noting that in addition to facilitating the purchase of prescription drugs, having an on-site pharmacy will enable the center to provide its patients integrated medical and provide drug services.
“We will have the ability internally to better coordinate our patient care by having clinical pharmacists work directly with our healthcare teams,” said Eng.
The project, which the center celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony on August 8, also attended by city officials, is being funded with help from a $1 million federal budget that U.S. Representative Seth Moulton, a Salem Democrat, helped secure.
Although the pharmacy is aimed at center patients, it will also be accessible to the general public. Officials at the center expect it to fill 200 to 300 prescriptions a day initially, and about 800 a day over time.
Designed by Environments for Health Architecture, the pharmacy will occupy a 4,200-square-foot space that used to house one of the center’s primary care teams. The center contracts with the Boston-based nonprofit Community Care Cooperative to supply the pharmacists and operate the facility.
In addition to five registration rooms, a waiting room and a private doctor’s office, it will feature a “Natural Wall” filled with over-the-counter items tailored to the needs of people from different cultural backgrounds of the city, and an interactive video board to help kids in the waiting room. to entertain.
“We are very pleased that this is an extension of what we offer,” said Mahaniah. “I think we’re going to see a real impact on our patients’ quality of life.”
John Laidler can be reached at: email@example.com.