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Medicaid Reimbursements Affected

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All Medicaid prescriptions must be written on tamper-resistant paper

Asmall provision in the Iraq Funding bill could cause serious problems for Medicaid recipients and pharmacists. This provision states that effective October 1, 2007, paper prescriptions for ALL Medicaid outpatient drugs will only be reimbursable if written on a tamper-resistant pad. The potential impact on Medicaid beneficiaries, pharmacists, and prescribers will be significant. Implementation issues range from whether a sufficient number of pads will be available to the thousands of prescribers that write prescriptions to Medicaid beneficiaries, to the action that the pharmacist should take if the prescription is not written on tamper proof paper.

If a prescription is not written on a tamper-resistant pad, the pharmacists will be forced to choose between filling the prescription for the patient and not being reimbursed, or sending the patient away with no medication. Neither one of these options is acceptable!

Apparently, Congress is not hearing anything from consumers or pharmacists on this issue, and assumes that the take backs are no big deal. These tamper-resistant pads are expensive and not widely used in Ohio, and the prescriber community is not even aware that they will be required to use them.

Congressman Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio,has drafted legislation that will limit the program to only Schedule II narcotics. This will pinpoint the drugs that are the most common target of fraud and theft.

Please call your member of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 3090- legislation to limit to Schedule II narcotics the required use of tamper-resistant prescription pads under the Medicaid program. Congressional member information may be found by clicking on the Legislative Info tab on the left of this page.

Congress needs to take action on this in the next few weeks if our pharmacies are going to be safe from take backs starting in September.

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