November 13, 2013

State of Alabama
Press Release: Medicaid

Commission explores Medicaid pharmacy savings possibilities for state

At two separate meetings in October, members of the Alabama Medicaid Pharmacy Study Commission heard presentations from other state Medicaid pharmacy program administrators and from pharmacy benefits management programs and other organizations with new ideas for reducing pharmacy costs to the state.


An October 10 meeting focused on the experiences of three southern states – Arkansas, Georgia and Mississippi – to manage pharmacy costs in their respective Medicaid programs.  On October 24, the Commission heard presentations on use of three different approaches, to include a pharmacy benefits management (PBM) organization, a state-based joint venture with existing vendors and a preferred provider system.


“Now that we have heard from these states and organizations, our next step is to have Medicaid’s actuary take the results of these presentations and try to give us some assessment of how much money we would potentially save,” said State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson, commission chair. “After that, we would attempt to determine the economic consequences of those options.”


The next meeting of the Commission is on November 14, at 1 p.m. at the Montgomery County Health Department.


The commission was created in June 2013 by Governor Robert Bentley to identify potential opportunities to save money for the state Medicaid program. Commission members are specifically charged with analyzing the current system, comparing Alabama's program with other states' operations, identifying alternative pharmacy systems that could maintain quality and save money for Alabama and the estimated savings and economic impact for each described system if implemented. The commission is to report its findings to the Governor no later than December 1, 2013.

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