CMS Agrees To Increase Time Pharmaceutical Companies Must Retain Medicaid Price Records to 10 Years
CMS on Tuesday agreed to increase the length of time to 10 years that pharmaceutical companies must retain records about the prices that they charge Medicaid for their products, according to Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly (D), the Boston Herald reports (Heldt Powell, Boston Herald, 1/7). Last year, CMS issued a rule, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, that would have allowed pharmaceutical companies that participate in a Medicaid prescription drug rebate program to destroy Medicaid records after three years. Opponents, such as acting HHS Inspector General Dara Corrigan, raised concerns that the rule would allow pharmaceutical companies to destroy Medicaid fraud evidence and make such cases more difficult to investigate. Dennis Smith, director of the CMS Center for Medicaid and State Operations, said that the agency drafted the rule to establish a three-year limit on efforts by pharmaceutical companies to recalculate the rebates that they must provide to Medicaid, which he said could save the program $90 million per year (California Healthline, 11/11/03). However, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on Tuesday replaced the proposed three-year limit with a 10-year limit to ensure that Medicaid record destruction would not "hinder the activities of the federal and state law enforcement officials." Reilly said that the move will help states with Medicaid fraud investigations (Boston Herald, 1/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.