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Texas Medicaid Managed-Care Problems Gaining National Attention
Date:6/22/2012

AUSTIN, Texas, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN)— a national coalition of consumers, local businesses and pharmacists committed to preserving quality and affordable health care today urged Texas state leaders to act quickly to prevent ongoing harm from the state's new Medicaid managed-care program to community pharmacies and their Medicaid patients. Since the State's shift to managed care in March, dramatically reduced payments to pharmacies participating in the program have led to numerous pharmacy closures and other problems for businesses and patients —problems that are now getting national attention.  

"The Texas Medicaid pharmacy program is attracting national attention for all the wrong reasons," said Michael Wright, executive director of the Texas Pharmacy Business Council. "By failing to include simple protections for pharmacies and their patients under managed care, the State is directly facilitating pharmacy closings and loss of jobs. The State is also making it harder for patients to access the pharmacy care they need, especially in rural areas."

A recent New York Times article details the experiences of community pharmacists attempting to adjust to the new system.  The piece mentions dramatic reductions in revenue to pharmacies resulting in business closures and ongoing hardships for those still in business; unfair poaching of independent pharmacy customers by CVS Caremark, a managed care pharmacy benefit manager (PBM); computer errors and miscommunications from the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC); and a lack of transparency making it difficult for pharmacies to evaluate PBM contracts.

Wright said pharmacists throughout the state have stressed the need for fair re
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SOURCE Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN)
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