Regional Pharmacies Dropping Medicaid Ahead of Health Reform

By | March 18, 2010

The New England Journal of Medicine, recently published a survey where roughly half of all physicians that responded would leave the profession if the current health care reform went into effect.  Many critics of the survey discounted it saying that pushing more people into Medicaid would not cause a health care crisis.

Unfortunately, it already is.  The Seattle Times reported on Wednesday that as of April 16, Washington State Walgreens would no longer take new Medicaid patients.  This is after Bartell Drugs had done the some previously.

In a news release, Walgreens said its decision to not take new Medicaid patients stemmed from a “continued reduction in reimbursement” under the state’s Medicaid program, which reimburses it at less than the break-even point for 95 percent of brand-name medications dispensed to Medicaid patents.

Basically, the government-run health care in Washington is unable to reimburse the drug stores at even break-even (zero profit).  How long until the State has no choice but to start up Health and Human Services Drug Stores for Medicaid patients?  It isn’t that far fetched to apply the same thing to doctors and hospitals.

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