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PCAN Calls On Federal Government to Reconsider Preliminary Approval of Texas' Medicaid Waiver Request
Date:9/19/2011

DALLAS, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) - a coalition of consumers, local businesses and pharmacists across the nation and Texas committed to preserving quality and affordable health care - today called on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider their preliminary approval of Texas' waiver implementing a new Medicaid managed care plan switching pharmacy, among other health care services, to a managed-care model.

PCAN believes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should reject the State of Texas' proposed Section 1115 waiver now pending before the agency, citing a precipitous decline in reimbursement rates that will force pharmacies out of business, as well as threaten patient services and access to care.

"The State's proposed implementation of managed care pharmacy services will devastate pharmacies in the state, kill jobs and hurt the quality of patient care for the most vulnerable among us.  It must be stopped in its tracks," said Tammy Gray, RPh, owner of a pharmacy in Buda and spokesperson for the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) coalition in Texas.

According to the group, the proposed implementation of the managed care model will drastically reduce reimbursement rates for local pharmacies that fill prescriptions and could force some out of business altogether and even more out of the Texas Medicaid program.  Currently, pharmacies receive reimbursement for Medicaid prescriptions through the Vendor Drug Program regulated by the state and open to all pharmacies.  Under the new plan, they will be subject to rates set by pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and managed care organizations, for-profit firms that will administer the managed care pharmacy program.

Independent pharmacies across Texas have already begun receiving contracts from at least one PBM that represents an 80 percent reduction in reimbursement rates per prescription dispe
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SOURCE Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN)
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