In the realm of healthcare, EPT stands for Expedited Partner Therapy. This practice involves providing STI treatment medication to the sexual partner of a diagnosed patient without the healthcare provider directly treating or seeing the partner. As a 340B consulting firm, Ravin Consultants has seen many facilities struggle to provide EPT care to their patients. In this blog, we will explore what EPT is and how it can benefit 340B patients while also addressing some of the legal cons iderations.
EPT and Its Significance for 340B Patients:
EPT is a practice that has gained recognition for its potential benefits in the context of the 340B program. For those unfamiliar with the term, the 340B program allows eligible healthcare entities to access discounted medications, helping them stretch their resources to provide better care for their patients.
In the case of EPT, the practice involves using 340B drugs to provide treatment to the sexual partner of a diagnosed patient. This approach is permissible under the 340B program because it serves the crucial purpose of preventing reinfection for the initially diagnosed patient. By treating the partner and preventing reinfection, healthcare providers can contribute to better patient outcomes, especially in cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Legal Considerations and State Variations:
While EPT is generally allowed from a 340B perspective, it’s important to note that its acceptance can vary from state to state due to differences in state pharmacy laws. In many states, pharmacists are required to counsel patients and check for drug interactions and allergies before dispensing any medication. These requirements are mandated by state pharmacy laws, irrespective of 340B rules and regulations.
In some instances, including “for EPT” on the pharmacy drug label may be sufficient from a legal standpoint. Many states, 46 to be exact, have legal clauses that allow and protect healthcare providers when it comes to EPT. However, there are four states—Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, and South Dakota—that prohibit this practice.
Therefore, it is crucial for healthcare providers and organizations to familiarize themselves with their specific state pharmacy laws before considering EPT as part of their 340B program. Compliance with state laws is essential to ensure that healthcare practices are not only effective but also legally sound.
Integration into 340B Programs:
To successfully implement EPT as part of a 340B program, healthcare entities must integrate this practice into their policies and procedures. This integration ensures that the process aligns with the organization’s goals and complies with both federal and state regulations.
Conclusion and the Role of 340B:
Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT) is a valuable tool within the 340B program, offering potential benefits for patients diagnosed with STIs. However, its acceptance and implementation vary across states due to differences in pharmacy laws. It’s crucial for healthcare providers to be well-informed about their state-specific regulations and integrate EPT into their 340B programs effectively. Ultimately, the 340B program continues to play a vital role in stretching federal resources and improving patient care and outcomes.
If you have further questions about EPT or any other aspect of the 340B program, don’t hesitate to ,schedule a consulation with a 340B Expert at Ravin Consultants. We are here to assist you in navigating the complexities of healthcare practices and regulations.