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NCPA Statement on Sen. Baucus' Medicare Bill Inclusion of Solutions for Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement Problems
Date:6/9/2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced a $20 billion Medicare bill that includes pharmacy-related provisions to provide prompt payment of Medicare Part D prescription drug claims and delay the implementation of Medicaid reimbursement cuts for generic prescription drugs. In response Bruce Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), issued the following statement:

"Chairman Baucus has included two provisions in his Medicare bill that will assure access for the patients of America's 23,000 community pharmacies. Our members and their patients are counting on these provisions to become law to assure their access to prescription drugs. The first provision ends the deliberately slow payment of Part D claims that force community pharmacies to maintain cash flow by taking out huge loans; while the second one delays the implementation of a fundamentally-flawed Medicaid reimbursement formula that forces community pharmacies to be reimbursed below actual generic prescription drug cost."

BACKGROUND:

Prompt Payment

In 2006, the first full year of Medicare Part D's implementation, five percent of America's community pharmacies permanently closed their doors. Ever since Part D's implementation on Jan. 1, 2006, community pharmacies have experienced cash-flow problems that have necessitated the need for loans in the tens to hundreds of thousands dollars. The pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) responsible for administering the various Part D plans are paid by the government in advance, and could help remedy the problem, but rather than paying promptly, they choose to earn interest on the government's payment, and pay pharmacies late for their services.

Average Manufacturers Price

The new Medicaid reimbursement formula is based on the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) from the 2005 Defici
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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