State Watch: Walgreen Medicaid Prescription Threat, Conn. Insurance Claims

A roundup of state health news:

The (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review: "Walgreen Co. said it will stop filling Medicaid prescriptions at about half of its pharmacies in Washington next month because of continued reimbursement reductions" (Stucke, 1/14).

The Wall Street Journal: It's not the first time Walgreen has made this type of threat. "A similar standoff occurred last year in Delaware" (Becker, 1/14).

Hartford Courant: "The state Office of the Healthcare Advocate fought to get $6.7 million last year from health insurers in claims and health care services that were initially declined by insurance companies," costs otherwise born by Connecticut consumers. The recession spurred a 23 percent increase in new cases of unpaid claims, compared with the prior year (Sturdevant, 1/14).

The Providence Journal: "The state House of Representative's leading budget authority publicly questioned on Wednesday the value of the [Gov. Donald] Carcieri administration's landmark agreement with federal Medicaid officials, criticizing the deal to overhaul Rhode Island's long-term care system for repeatedly failing to meet savings projections." The special Medicaid agreement allowed the state to restructure its program in hopes of saving $67 million in 2009. "Those savings never materialized" (Peoples, 1/14).

Associated Press: "Florida's new prescription tracking law" – meant to shut down clinics that supply drugs to addicts and dealers – "doesn't say what should happen if a pain clinic fails an inspection and gives the state's 'drug czar' an added job raising funds to help pay for the program, state officials told lawmakers Tuesday." The issue is that the law doesn't grant powers to revoke permits or otherwise enforce the requirements, the officials said (Kaczor, 1/13).

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