Washington State Losing $3M Because of Injunction Against Medicaid Drug Reimbursement Rate Change
A temporary injunction blocking Washington state from imposing a rule that would cut Medicaid reimbursements for brand-name prescription drugs could cost the state $3 million or more, according to state Medicaid Director Doug Porter, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. The injunction, issued on March 31 by Judge Robert Bryan, prohibited the state from reducing reimbursement rates from 86% to 80% of the average wholesale price, a change that would have saved the state $1 million per month, according to Porter.
Jeff Rochon, a spokesperson for the Washington State Pharmacy Association, said that the organization is trying to persuade lawmakers to reject the 6% cut proposed by Porter -- which is included in the state Senate's two-year budget plan -- in favor of a 2% cut included in the House version of the budget.
U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle will hear from both sides in a hearing scheduled for May 18 and will decide whether to continue the ban or allow the reimbursement rate change. Porter said that even if Settle allows the rate change, "we're not going to be able to salvage this during the current fiscal year," which ends on June 30 (Klass, AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/13).