Texas Pharmacists, Lawmakers Gather for Discussion on Impact of Medicaid Managed Care System
Several hundred pharmacists as well as seven lawmakers gathered in San Antonio on Tuesday night for a Friends of the Texas Pharmacy event to discuss the negative impact of the state’s recent shift of Medicaid pharmacy services into a Managed Care system.
Discussions centered around finding ways to resolve some of the issues now facing small businesses – and small pharmacies, in particular – and patients throughout the state, including restricted access to pharmacy services, loss of jobs, increased costs and more.
According to a news release from the Texas Pharmacy Business Council:
“San Antonio pharmacist Rudy Davila narrated a short presentation outlining the pitfalls of managed pharmacy care, including the loss of jobs and tax revenue from pharmacy closings due to the diversion of millions of dollars in Medicaid revenue to out-of-state PBMs. He told the legislators that pharmacists had three goals in bringing them to the forum: thank them for their past support; explain the economic impact on pharmacies and patients from switching the Medicaid/CHIP Vendor Drug Program to managed care; and ask their support to carve pharmacy care back out of managed care or to return reimbursements much closer to former levels.”
The group was especially vocal in its concerns over the 30 pharmacy closures that have been logged since the new Medicaid rules for pharmacies were enacted back in April, and says perseverance and political activism are now needed to improve the state’s flawed Medicaid Rx reimbursement scheme.
At the close of the event, Rep. Jose Menendez advise the audience to be tough on lawmakers by holding them accountable for their actions and not settling for verbal support.