NCPA urges congressional action this month to block severe Medicaid cuts to pharmacies

9/1/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va. An organization that represents the nation’s community pharmacists is calling for congressional action to preserve the access Medicaid patients have to approximately 23,000 community pharmacies.

The National Community Pharmacists Association said that the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Acts of 2008, a law which includes a provision delaying the implementation of Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement cuts using an average manufacturer price formula, will expire Sept. 30.

In light of this, the organization is urging Congress to prevent such cuts since it would compromise community pharmacies’ ability to serve Medicaid patients.

“Ensuring patient access to community pharmacies prevents far costlier visits to doctor’s offices or emergency rooms,” said NCPA EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts in a statement. “Congress must grant another delay as legislators work to adopt a fair Medicaid reimbursement formula. While we appreciate the efforts of Democrats and Republicans to address this in healthcare reform legislation, clearly any bill that emerges won’t be done soon enough.

“Independent community pharmacies serve rural and urban communities where they are often the sole healthcare provider. We believe a fair solution can be found with Congress. However, that won’t be possible without an extension of the moratorium. At a time when Congress is attempting to expand health coverage to more Americans, surely our leaders don’t want to undermine the care that the most vulnerable among us currently have,” Roberts added.

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