Pharmacy groups praise CMS' rejection of below-cost Medicaid dispensing fees in Washington State

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Washington State Pharmacy Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association all came out in support of a September 10 decision by CMS to reject Washington State’s below-cost and lowest-in-the-nation Medicaid pharmacy dispensing fees.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Washington State Pharmacy Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association all came out in support of a September 10 decision by CMS to reject Washington State’s below-cost and lowest-in-the-nation Medicaid pharmacy dispensing fees. CMS put a new rule into place in 2016 that changed states' calculation of reimbursement to pharmacies for Medicaid prescriptions. A key part of the rule indicates that states must at least reimburse pharmacies for their actual costs in dispensing drugs to Medicaid beneficiaries. The associations have advocated in all branches and levels of government that Washington State’s below-cost reimbursement violates the new rule, jeopardizes reliable patient access to medications responsible for ensuring patient health, and leads to more costly forms of care that result from untreated conditions. The associations say the CMS action should spur Washington State to increase its dispensing fees and demonstrate to other Medicaid programs that dispensing fees must cover pharmacies' costs.