Labette Health is a 99 bed licensed hospital that provides acute, intensive, and inpatient rehabilitation services. Labette Health is renowned for its comprehensive healthcare services, state of the art technology and skilled medical staff, has earned national recognition for patient safety and has been serving a six county area since 1961. Classified as a Sole Community Hospital within the 340B program, Labette Health offers Labor and Delivery, Infusion Clinics, 2 Outlying Express Care Clinics, an on-site Express Care, Wound Care, Urology, Neurosurgery, as well as Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Care. The 340B program is instrumental in allowing Labette Health to provide services patients would otherwise have to drive hours to receive. Serving a rural population continues to be a challenge as reimbursements decrease and expenses increase. Aligning with the intent of the 340B program, Labette Health is able to expand comprehensive services to vulnerable populations. Labette Health is committed to good stewardship of the 340B Program.
Labette Health’s mission of the 340B program is to provide more comprehensive care and enhanced services, and provide clinically and cost effective services that improve medication use and advance patient care. Some examples of how 340B works in the Labette Health community include treating uninsured patients, the unreimbursed cost of treating Medicaid and Medicare patients, community health improvement services, improving quality care through the reduction of readmissions, and expanding access to care in underserved areas. Labette Health has opened clinics, express care centers, and Hospital Outpatient Departments in areas where hospital closures have created a lack of healthcare services.
Labette Health uses a portion of their 340B savings to care for the nutritional aspects of community health. Food insecurity affects clinical, behavioral, socioeconomic and environmental factors that contribute to health. Labette Health has many programs to meet these needs including the USDA Summer Food Program and a monthly free community dinner known as “Dinner on 17th Street.”
Labette Health operates the Rector Diabetes Education and Resource Center with a portion of our 340B savings. This facility is a 2000 square foot building that contains classroom space and a demonstration kitchen, plus a vibrant mix of high tech fitness equipment and interactive media kiosks which provide high quality diabetes-related information to caregivers, educators, and others who might be involved in a diabetic patient’s life. Services included within this center are diabetic support group meetings and twice a year screenings.
If the 340B program was scaled back at Labette Health, it would mean many of these services would have to be cut. Patients would have to drive further for care, in many instances. With limitations on elderly and impoverished populations, that would most certainly lead to patients not having access to care. A decrease in 340B benefit would mean limiting many of the services we provide to the population focused on the overall health of the individual such as diabetic education services, exercise opportunities provided at our rehabilitation unit, and charity care. The 340B program is essential to the access of care and health in Rural America.