The 340B Impact in Our Community

The 340B prescription drug program is a vital lifeline for safety-net providers, supporting critical health services in our communities. The program is narrowly tailored to reach only hospitals that provide a high level of services to low-income individuals or that serve isolated rural communities. Savings from the 340B program help hospitals meet the healthcare needs of underserved patients across the country.

El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) is a general acute care hospital that has participated in the 340B program since 2011. ECRMC is located in Southern California’s Imperial County which lies along the border of Mexico. Imperial County has an average unemployment rate of 16% and a poverty rate of 24%. With just over 1,000 employees ECRMC is the sixth largest employer in El Centro and the eighth largest in Imperial County. The hospital’s economic impact to our local economy in salary, wages and expenditures is estimated to be over $450M.

Participating as a Covered Entity in the 340B program has allowed our organization to continue providing safe and quality care to all of our residents. It has enabled us to expand services to our low-income patients, which are our most at-risk residents.

The savings from the 340B program have enabled ECRMC to start up an American Diabetes Association-recognized diabetes education program; partnered with Cancer Resource Center of the Desert to embed a navigator in our Oncology Dept.; introduced programs to enhance the patient experience; brought focus to one of the top causes of death through our Chest Pain Accreditation program, and have been able to sustain our asthma education program. We also opened an Education Resource Center that is located inside our regional mall in El Centro. We offer a variety of community health education programs and events that are held in the 10,000 square foot space.