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Time for Policymakers to Choose: 'Prompt Pay' Mandate or Postpone AMP Reimbursement Cuts
Date:6/24/2008

Accelerated Payment Cycle Would Create a 'Stampede' of Other Medicare Providers Demanding the Same Treatment Next Year

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As policymakers consider what to include in the final Medicare package, they face the decision of either supporting costly Medicare "prompt pay" requirements for pharmacies or postponing the Average Manufacturer Price (AMP) pharmacy reimbursement cuts in Medicaid which would ultimately harm both pharmacies and consumers, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

"Now that we're in the endgame, Congress must choose between a reasonable AMP delay and a new policy to pay drugstores twice as fast as every other Medicare provider," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. "Delaying AMP is supported by a broad coalition of pharmacists, PBMs, and insurers. 'Prompt pay' has no such support and would undermine the affordability and integrity of the Medicare program."

PCMA joined a group representing almost every segment of the pharmacy supply chain who signed a letter to Congressional leaders urging passage of legislation that will postpone the AMP payment reductions that threaten to devastate retail pharmacies and their low income patients. Those signing the letter included:

American Pharmacists Association

Food Marketing Institute

Generic Pharmaceutical Association

Healthcare Distribution Management Association

National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association

Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) pay pharmacy claims within 30 days, a standard consistent with Medicare Parts A & B, the federal employees' health plan, and the private sector. The 30-day payment standard allows plans to batch claims for administrative efficiency and conduct audits to detect fraud and abuse.

The independent drugstore lobby partne
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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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