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N.Y. Medicaid program redesign could save state millions

WASHINGTON — The New York State Health Department has proposed a plan that could save the state’s Medicaid program $350 million through 2015.

The proposal would redesign the program so that it acts more like Medicare and private insurers. According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group for pharmacy benefit managers, the program currently uses fewer generic drugs and pays pharmacists twice what they get from private insurers and Medicare.

“Medicaid shouldn’t pay more for Medicaid drug benefits than private insurers and Medicare do,” PCMA president and CEO Mark Merritt said. “Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s been happening in New York. By simply modernizing Medicaid drug benefits and bringing costs more in line with other programs, New York will save $350 million without cutting patient benefits.”

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