This past February, I was given the opportunity to attend my first 340B Conference. Our team jumped into preparations on conference culture and potential booth traffic. As we continued researching schedules, I was excited to see for myself what the event would be like. Before I knew it, we had arrived at the beautiful Coronado Island in San Diego, California. As Upstate New Yorkers, we were quick to welcome what would be considered “unseasonably chilly weather” by the locals.
We arrived at the conference center Wednesday morning to register and there was an up-tempo energy filling the air. After registration, we walked past dozens and dozens of crates of materials for vendor booth set up. It was clear the importance that marketing and promotion would play at the booth. Once we had our own booth set up, we had the pleasure of speaking with many stewards of the 340B program. Hearing their own perspectives on their 340B involvement solidified our belief in this program being a lifeline for populations that would not have access to health care otherwise. The conversations progressed for the rest of the conference, and we were able to meet with some of our clients throughout the event.
Outside of presenting ATRIA 340B’s TPA, auditing and consulting services during the booth times, the conference also served as a great learning experience. There were various speakers over the course of the three days, including our Director, Cindy Chan, who gave a great talk on “Lessons from the Field”. Her presentation emphasized our dual role as a 340B vendor and participating FQHC. Many speakers provided unique and important updates to the 340B landscape that included legislative talk and the overarching impact that the increased use of technology will have on health care in general.
The 2018 340B Coalition Winter Conference was the largest 340B Conference ever. It was incredible to see so many passionate people come together with a common goal of protecting the integrity of the 340B program. The brainstorming and collaboration for continual program growth was an all encompassing takeaway from the event. If you are dedicated to the 340B program for your entity, I hope you will consider attending future conferences to network and to learn how to be a good steward of the program.
This post is part of our staff contributor series and was written by James Sipowicz, Business Analyst