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Senators call for Medicaid transition period
June 2nd, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. – Nine senators have called on the Department of Health and Human Services to consider the challenges that states will face when the final Medicaid average manufacturer price (AMP)-based federal upper limits (FULs) are published.
In a recent letter to HHS, the legislators cite the need for a one-year transition period for states to implement the July 2014 AMP-based FULs, a position supported by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
In July the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to publish the final Medicaid AMP-based FULs. The agency has indicated that it expects the new FULs to be effective immediately.
“We believe such a rapid implementation will pose problems for under-reimbursement of Medicaid prescriptions at the state level, which may pose problems for beneficiaries,” the senators wrote. “We encourage CMS to establish a one-year transition period for state implementation of the FULs as well as for implementing any necessary dispensing fee changes by the states once the new FULs have been published along with any corresponding and necessary regulatory guidance.”
In addition, the letter cites the support for the 12-month transition period expressed by the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD).
NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson expressed appreciation to the senators for sending this letter.
“The bottom line is that patient access to pharmacy care should not be compromised. Implementation of these AMP-based FULs poses great concern for pharmacy patient care, and we appreciate the leadership of Sens. Mark Warner [D., Va.] and Johnny Isakson [R., Ga.] and the support of their colleagues in recognizing how this immediate reimbursement change could impact access to pharmacy services for low-income Americans,” commented Anderson.