Skip to comments.Walgreens: no new Medicaid patients as of April 16..
Posted on 03/19/2010 8:44:18 PM PDT by TaraP
Effective April 16, Walgreens drugstores across the state won't take any new Medicaid patients, saying that filling their prescriptions is a money-losing proposition the latest development in an ongoing dispute over Medicaid reimbursement. The company, which operates 121 stores in the state, will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients. In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a "continued reduction in reimbursement" under the state's Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents. Walgreens follows Bartell Drugs, which stopped taking new Medicaid patients last month at all 57 of its stores in Washington, though it still fills Medicaid prescriptions for existing customers at all but 15 of those stores. Doug Porter, the state's director of Medicaid, said Medicaid recipients should be able to readily find another pharmacy because "we have many more pharmacy providers in our network than we need" for the state's 1 million Medicaid clients.
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
Fred Meyer and Safeway said their pharmacies would continue to serve existing Medicaid patients and to take new ones, though both expressed concern that the reimbursement rate is too low for pharmacies to make a profit.
The amount private insurers and Medicaid pay pharmacies for prescriptions isn’t the actual cost of those drugs but rather is based on what’s called the drug’s estimated average wholesale price. But that figure is more like the sticker price on a car than its actual wholesale cost. Washington was reimbursing pharmacies 86 percent of a drug’s average wholesale price until July, when it began paying them just 84 percent. While pharmacies weren’t happy about the reimbursement reduction, the Department of Social and Health Services said that move was expected to save the state about $10 million.
Then in September came another blow. The average wholesale price is calculated by a private company, which was accused in a Massachusetts lawsuit of fraudulently inflating its figures. The company did not admit wrongdoing but agreed in a court settlement to ratchet its figures down by about 4 percent. That agreement took effect in September and prompted a lawsuit by a group of pharmacies and trade associations that said Washington state didn’t follow federal law in setting its reimbursement rate, and that that rate is too low. The lawsuit is pending. “Washington state Medicaid is now reimbursing pharmacies less than their cost of participation,” said Jeff Rochon, CEO of the Washington State Pharmacy Association. Pharmacies that continue to fill Medicaid prescriptions at the current state reimbursement rate are “at risk of putting themselves out of business altogether
Welcome to O-Hole’s AmeriKa
Doesn’t surprise me. If this so-called health care reform becomes law, expect to see many of our medical options limited...not just doctors, but hospitals and pharmacies as well.
A normal person reads this and realizes that Medicaid is a failing government program and that it is only a matter of time before private retail outlets stop accepting it everywhere. The normals sit around, fret about how bad socialism is, and how our system can’t sustain this nonsense.
However, a leftist would read this as a travesty that mean ole’ Walgreen’s wasn’t willing to take an endless loss in the course of doing business. Your leftist would analyze any and all other profits Walgreen’s made, and demand to know why they were not rerouted into the partnership with this failing government endeavor in an attempt to achieve social justice. All of this followed by some chants of “No Justice, No Peace” and a round of singing “Kumbaya” around a recycling bin.
Sadly, we have too many of the second kind of people.
And to think that Walmart jumped into bed with the alleged President. How long before they stop allowing new Medicaid customers I wonder. Many, if things continue going “President” Obama’s or whatever his name is way, will rue the day that they backed him.
The most amazing statistic in the article is that Medicaid in Washington has 1,000,000 people on the rolls. That is almost 1/6 of the entire state population.
My dad is a Pharmacist and owned his own drugstore for over 25 years. The state of Ohio capped what they reimburse on scripts that barely covered the cost of a medicine and then would take 6 months to send the payment. He could tie up thousands of dollars , have no mark up and wait months for payment.
Eventually he sold the store to Rite Aid.
I don't blame Walgreens one iota for making this kind of decision . They are in business to make money but to a moron leftist they are an evil corporation.
Agreed - good for you, Walgreens.
Seattle Washington has over a million people on Medicaid?
Soon, medicare will also be robbed to fund Obamacare ...
Hopefully there are some aged Democrats on this thread to enjoy the fruits of their scullduggery. Soon no one on Medicaid will be able to get prescription drugs without going thru their neighborhood Rx “pusher.” But they will have the enjoyment of seeing the beggar on the corner popping his Tricor given to him by Obama at no cost except to the aged Democrat who can’t obtain Tricor him/herself.
Good for your Dad - he sold while he could!!!
Imagine trying to sell now with DeathCare approaching?
“Doesnt surprise me. If this so-called health care reform becomes law, expect to see many of our medical options limited...not just doctors, but hospitals and pharmacies as well.”
Expect to see a lot fewer Doctors in practice though they will still take established patients at a set price. Pay the bill up front and the Doc will send you out the back with treatment and prescriptions but no insurance and no government involvement. In/pay $/Out.
All doctors, all pharmacies, all hospitals, should refuse to take Medicare patients .
I know most will consider this to be too cruel but it is the only way to expose the farce that is health care.
Why is health care so expensive?
Why does a doctor charge me $65 for a 2 minute visit?
Is it because someone else is paying $0 for a 45 minute visit?
Why does a hospital charge $15,000 for a one day stay or $100,000 for a heart operation.?
Why does a CASH customer pay 10 times more than a Medicare customer?
It was a privilege having a dad operating a small business. At 10 years old I started working there cleaning shelves and understanding a good work ethic.
Liberalism in one way or another is the biggest roadblock to people trying to start up and run a profitable small business.
Why are doctors and pharmacists the bad guys? Would ANYONE work at a job where it COSTS you to be in business? The recent 21% cuts in medicare remibursements are a good lesson. How many people would like a 21% cut in their pay? Imagine the screaming if unions were told by the government that immediately they will be working for 21% less, because union work is “too expensive” and union members are “greedy” and everyone has the “right” to union made products, regardless of their ability to pay.
That’s great that you had that opportunity.
Liberalism takes away all the incentives to starting businesses, for sure. It’s sad.
The reason a CASH customer pays more than a Medicare patient is easy. If the physician or hospital agrees to take Medicare patients it can not charge any patient less than it charges a Medicare patient by LAW. Most physicians set their charges a few percentage points above Medicare fixed rates to not run foul of the LAW that could bankrupt them with fines and decreased pay by Medicare. Your .gov at work!!!!!!