California Pharmacists and Patients Brace for Medicaid Cuts

CMS Approves Cuts to California Medicaid Providers

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today approved California’s request to cut Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program) provider reimbursements by 10 percent, a reduction that includes pharmacies. The cuts will be retroactive to June 1, 2011. In a conference call this afternoon addressing patient and provider interests, Toby Douglas, Director of the California Department of Health Care Services, stated that the cuts were difficult but necessary to achieve State budget savings.

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and an alliance of patient and healthcare providers including hospitals, physicians and dentists had been advocating with CMS since June to deny the State’s request because of the negative impact on patient access to care that will result from the cuts.

“Words cannot express our disappointment in CMS approving California’s request to further erode provider reimbursements. Balancing a state budget on the backs of providers caring for underserved patients is bad public policy. The bottom line is that people will go without care,” stated Jon Roth, the chief executive officer for CPhA.

CPhA believes the cuts will not only have a negative impact on patients, but are also in violation of federal regulations requiring patient access to care, known as “Section 30A” (42 United States Code Section 1396a(a)(30)(A). In a letter to CMS earlier this month, CPhA pointed out numerous provisions of the proposed cuts that do not meet the requirements for access to care or are in conflict with other federal requirements.

“In 2014 the federal government is requiring the State to enroll 3 to 5 million additional Californians into the Medi-Cal program through national healthcare reform (the Affordable Care Act). The cuts approved by CMS today are a complete contradiction to the ACA and makes you wonder if anybody between the Obama administration and Health and Human Services Agency are talking before these decisions are made,” continued Roth.

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California Pharmacists Association
Jamie Carota, 916-779-4511
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Pharmaceutical  Professional Services  Insurance  General Health  Managed Care