Medi-Cal Payment Cuts Loom as Challenge to California Pharmacists
California pharmacists on July 1 will face a 10% reduction in Medi-Cal reimbursements, raising the question for some pharmacies to fill Medi-Cal prescriptions at a loss or stop participating in the state's Medicaid program, the Stockton Record reports.
Some pharmacists could lose up to 25% of their business because of the Medi-Cal cuts, while others have already taken steps to scale back the percentage of their business that comes from Medi-Cal.
Further complicating the issue, the state has informed pharmacies that it will delay sending Medi-Cal reimbursement checks due on June 19 until July 2 as part of an accounting maneuver intended to address California's budget deficit. The delay could push many pharmacists to take out loans to cover costs, according to the Record.
The California Pharmacists Association said the cuts will most adversely affect patients who rely on their daily medications.
Lynn Rolston, CEO of the association, said some small pharmacies could have to close if the new cuts take effect.
Last week, a group of Southern California pharmacies filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of patients who group members say will have a more difficult time obtaining their prescription drugs if the cuts take effect.
More lawsuits are possible, the Record reports (Goldeen, Stockton Record, 4/27).