New Medicaid rules target small pharmacies
POSTED: Monday, June 18, 2012 - 4:38pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 3:23pm
Texas has decided to revamp its Medicaid system to save money.
But do the new rules favor big chain stores and are they driving independents out of business?
There are 7 managed care plans the state will use, and one of them also happens to be run by one of the biggest drugstore chains in the country.
Jeff Abelt owns Brick Street Pharmacy and he says independents like him are feeling the pain.
The state is simply out of money, and has decided to add prescriptions to its managed care plans, and save $100-million in the bargain.
That means slashing the average dispensing fee to pharmacists from $7.13 to $1.53.
Think of the dispensing fee like the labor charge for a car repair.
In addition, one of the plans is run by CVS/Caremark, which is a part of the CVS pharmacy chain.
They say they don’t steer patients toward having their prescriptions filled at a CVS store, but many independents have their doubts.
In fact, a CVS executive told local stores that the new rules will pressure independents and this was a big growth opportunity.
But the reimbursement schedules are the real killer for the independents.
And the real victims may be Medicaid patients who find fewer choices for prescriptions.
Note: Thank you to the Texas Tribune for statistics used in this story.