State Changes Reimbursement Rates For Pharmacies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State Changes Reimbursement Rates For Pharmacies

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Effective July 1st pharmacies will see changes in the money they get back for making and delivering prescription drugs.

"What it means for pharmacies is that they will receive a lower reimbursement for brand name drug ingredients than they did in the past," said Jim Stevenson, Communications Director for Medicaid, DSHS.

Back in March Wallgreens announced they could stop serving Medicaid patients at 44 locations. Three of those are in the Tri-Cities.

Now that the reimbursement rates have changed, Wallgreens announced it will continue to fill medicaid prescriptions. It's a big relief for many people who use the pharmacy.

One of those people is Jeanette Stoffey, who says back in March the thought of having to switch pharmacies was a big concern. Now news of Wallgreens being back on board with Medicaid is a big relief.

"Wallgreens has been really good for us I didn't want to have to change, they know us, so this is fantastic hearing this, I'm very glad," said Stoffey.

Also in March a lawsuit was filed against the state, but with the rate changes the suit was dropped.

Stoffey says for her it's good timing.

"On our prescriptions we're just coming up on some re-fills, and I have been wondering, am I going to get a note from Wallgreens, are they going to send me somewhere else, and I didn't want to go through all that," said Stoffey.

The state will be paying pharmacies about $12 million less than before. DSHS also says in the future they'll work with pharmacies to try and use more generic drugs over brand names.

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