For Louisiana’s Medicaid recipients who rely on independent pharmacies for reliable access to medications, the state’s move to a managed care plan under “Bayou Health” is cause for serious concern.
In June, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals proposed moving Medicaid pharmacy services to managed care. Results from across the United States indicate the change could devastate Louisiana’s network of local, independent pharmacies and leave customers with decreased access to care.
Given Gov. Jindal’s recent rejection of the Affordable Care Act, in part because he says it will “decrease the quality of care,” it’s ironic that he’s willing to move Medicaid to an untested managed care model that could restrict patients’ access to local pharmacies.
The new system imposes the use of pharmacy benefit managers, a middle-man between the state and the pharmacies. While they claim to ultimately reduce costs, PBMs are notorious for marking up drug prices, and no independent studies have verified their claims of cost-savings.
If Gov. Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature truly want to protect Louisiana’s access to care and preserve the local economy, they’ll avoid moving prescription medications under the managed care umbrella. That’s what Connecticut did last year when managed care organizations fell short on their promises of improved care and reduced costs. It’s not too late for Louisiana to make the same decision. Read More…
Robert and Nikki Hollier
Hollier’s Family Pharmacy