ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have praised a decision by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid to forgo proposed reimbursements cuts for pharmacy and other health care providers.
NACDS and NCPA said Monday that pharmacies would have been especially hard-hit under the state’s plan, with their reimbursements slated to have been cut by 15%. The proposed cutbacks also would have forced many community pharmacies to limit their participation in Medicaid or exit the program, according to the associations.
Announced late last week, the reversal comes on the heels of an intense lobbying effort by the Mississippi Independent Pharmacies Association (MIPA), NACDS and NCPA noted. MIPA and NACDS filed a lawsuit, along with NCPA. Further support was provided by NCPA in an April letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) urging the agency to reject the proposed state plan amendment.
"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," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson and NCPA executive vice president and CEO Bruce Roberts said in a joint statement.
"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," Anderson and Roberts explained. "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."
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