NACDS, NCPA Commend Mississippi Division of Medicaid for Reversing Proposed Reduction in Health Provider Reimbursement

Alexandria, VA - June 07, 2010

 

On Friday the Mississippi Division of Medicaid announced it was reversing proposed Medicaid reimbursements cuts for health care providers. Pharmacies would have been especially hard hit under the plan as their reimbursements would have been cut by 15%. The proposed cuts would have forced many community pharmacies to limit their participation in Medicaid or drop out of the program altogether. 

The reversal follows on the heels of an intense lobbying effort by the Mississippi Independent Pharmacies Association (MIPA). MIPA and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) filed a lawsuit, along with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). Further support was provided by NCPA in an April letter to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging the agency to reject the proposed state plan amendment. In response, NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, and Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, NCPA executive vice president and CEO, issued the following statement: 

"The Mississippi Division of Medicaid wisely backed off draconian cuts to pharmacy reimbursements that would greatly compromise the ability of pharmacies to continue serving Medicaid patients. With the ongoing struggles to emerge from a deep economic recession that has increased the Medicaid rolls across the country, any policy that undermines the health care needs of these economically disadvantaged Americans is badly timed and will ultimately cost more money in the long run. If Medicaid patients can't get their prescription drugs from pharmacies, their health can be compromised further and they will often seek the more expensive emergency rooms and doctor's offices as a remedy. 

"The Mississippi Independent Pharmacies Association should be commended for its yeoman like work in making this happen. Its arguments were compelling, and at the end, carried the day. While MIPA was representing the interests of community pharmacies, it is patients who were the driving force behind their concerns. However, the situation warrants close monitoring as future proposals are developed." 

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) represents traditional drug stores, supermarkets, and mass merchants with pharmacies. Its more than 160 chain member companies include regional chains with a minimum of four stores to national companies. NACDS members also include more than 1,000 suppliers of pharmacy and front-end products, and 85 international members representing 28 countries. Chains operate 39,000 pharmacies, and employ a total of more than 2.5 million employees, including 118,000 pharmacists. They fill more than 2.5 billion prescriptions yearly, and have annual sales of over $750 billion. For more information about NACDS, visit www.NACDS.org

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM