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New Poll: Voters Want to Reduce Wasteful Spending in Medicaid Pharmacy
Date:12/10/2010

icaid costs acceptable when they involve reducing costs for prescription drugs, but find cutting payments to physicians and hospitals unacceptable.  Voters find "requir[ing] Medicaid patients to use generic drugs unless their doctor objects" acceptable by an 85 to 12 percent margin, find "mak[ing] local drugstores compete with each other in order to be included in a Medicaid network, like they do for Medicare Part D and private sector plans" acceptable by a 74 to 16 percent margin, and find "mak[ing] sure that different pharmacies do not issue duplicate prescriptions to the same patient" acceptable by a 74 to 20 percent margin.
  • Voters find cutting payments to physicians and hospitals who see Medicaid payments unacceptable by 64 to 29 percent and 61 to 31 percent margins, respectively.
  • One likely reason for voters' flexibility regarding Medicaid pharmacy is that the vast majority of voters have at least three pharmacies in their area.  Eighty-five percent of voters have at least three pharmacies in their area, including 61 percent who have more than five pharmacies in their area.

  • Key Findings from The Lewin Group study:

    Savings Opportunities Exist In Four Key Areas

    While Medicaid FFS programs and costs vary greatly state-by-state, The Lewin Group identified four key areas where pharmacy benefit management could generally be improved:

    • Generic Drug Dispensing: Medicaid FFS is less effective at encouraging the dispensing of generic drugs in place of brands. The generic dispensing rate in Medicaid FFS averages 68%, compared to an average 80% generic dispensing rate in Medicaid MCOs.
    • Dispensing Fees: At $4.81 per prescription, the national average dispensing fee that Medicaid FFS programs pay to retail pharmacies per each prescription is more than double the average dispensing fees paid by Medicare Part D p
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    SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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    All rights reserved

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