Providers, Patients Face Budget Squeeze

Local newspapers report on health care issues in Delaware, Lousiana and Hawaii.

In Delaware, The News Journal reports on a a Medicaid-related agreement regarding the state and prescription drug costs: "Walgreen Co. has reached an agreement in principle with Delaware that would keep the pharmacy chain filling Medicaid prescriptions and maintain a cut in state payments needed to balance the state's current budget, state and company officials said Monday” (Nathans and Miller, 8/11).

In Louisiana, The Town Talk reports on the potential impact of Medicaid cuts: "It's too early to tell what effect recently passed state Medicaid cuts will have, local health officials say. But they are concerned. Starting last Tuesday, payments to health-care providers for taking care of Medicaid patients were reduced, in some cases by more than 6 percent. It's a move that is expected to save the state, but cost private health-care providers, close to $100 million in the coming year" (Matthews, 8/10). 

In Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reports on state residents feeling the effects of a widening drug coverage gap: "Hawaii had the nation's largest percentage of Medicare beneficiaries falling into the so-called "doughnut hole" in Part D prescription drug coverage in 2007, leaving thousands of residents paying for all of their medicine, according to the AARP. More than one-third -- 36 percent -- of isle residents enrolled in the Medicare drug program hit the coverage gap" (Altonn, 8/10).

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