Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services medical assistance bulletin image referring to 340B drug pricing program
Pennsylvania rescinded a new Medicaid policy document that said contract pharmacies could not dispense 340B-purchased drugs to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Pennsylvania Rescinds Directive that Contract Pharmacies May Not Dispense 340B Drugs to Medicaid Beneficiaries

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services yesterday rescinded Medicaid policy guidance dated Dec. 22 and effective Jan. 1 that forbade 340B covered entities’ contract pharmacies from dispensing 340B-purchased drugs to Medicaid beneficiaries.

The state primary care association warned that the policy would cause catastrophic financial losses at 340B health centers if it was not delayed. The state hospital association warned of potentially far-reaching financial implications.

The rescinded provider bulletin said, “Contract pharmacies generally do not know at the time of dispensing and billing whether a [Medicaid] beneficiary is eligible for 340B-purchased drugs. The [Medicaid] program is unable to identify 340B-purchased drugs dispensed by contract pharmacies, therefore, contract pharmacies must dispense non-340B-purchased drugs to beneficiaries in the FFS and managed care delivery systems. The department invoices drug manufacturers for Medicaid rebates on these drugs.”

“We are very grateful to DHS both for listening to our concerns and for their willingness to reconsider and rescind the policy,” said Cheri Rinehart, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers. “Most importantly, we are grateful that the patients who count on the services and programs supported by the 340B program will continue to be able to do so.

Rinehart said the department wants “to convene a stakeholder workgroup for the purpose of developing potential solutions that will allow for the appropriate identification and recognition of medications dispensed to eligible 340B patients through contract pharmacies and we look forward to working with them on that initiative and to continuing to work together on our joint mission of improving access to quality, affordable health care, especially for the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians.”