[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
  [Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

[IPp] Colorado Imposes Medicaid Drug Limit

Colorado Imposes Medicaid Drug Limit 

 DENVER (AP) -- In an effort to cut costs, Colorado will start limiting
low-income patients to eight prescription drugs at a time starting Friday, a
plan some doctors say could push physicians to stop accepting Medicaid patients.

 Under the plan, expected to save Colorado's Medicaid program $6.6 million a
year, doctors who believe they need to prescribe more than eight drugs to a
Medicaid patient will have to call a toll-free number for approval first.

 Six types of drugs won't count toward the eight prescriptions: chemotherapy,
contraceptives, anti-psychotics, perinatal nutrition therapy, and drugs for
diabetes and AIDS.

 But Dr. Mark Wallace, of the Weld County Department of Public Health, said
there are other illnesses that require several prescriptions, including
emphysema, high cholesterol and congestive heart failure.

 Some doctors say that added step of calling for approval wastes time that they
can't spare.
window.name="video_window";AP VIDEO
Chinese SARS outbreak larger than previously thought
Windows | Real window.name="video_window";AP VIDEO
SARS hits Hong Kong entertainment sector
Windows | Real Latest Health NewsNew Pneumonia Vaccine Showing Results 
SARS Overwhelming Hospitals in Beijing 
Beijing Builds a 1,000-Bed SARS Hospital 
Colorado Imposes Medicaid Drug Limit 
Cholesterol Researchers Win Medical Prize 

 "They are hanging in there with Medicaid by a string," said Robert McCartney,
Denver Medical Society president. "You put an extra five minutes of time on
them, and that's enough to make them not want to see these patients anymore."

 The state implemented the program in 18 of its 63 counties on April 1 and will
expand it statewide on Friday. It did not require legislative approval. Doctors
learned of the new policy in a note at the bottom of their March billing

 Dr. Bernard Gipson, a primary-care doctor who practices in an urban Denver
neighborhood and sees a lot of Medicaid patients, called the plan "just

"I'm not going to do it," Gipson said.

 He said he was advising patients to put their eight most expensive drugs on the
Medicaid list and try to find generic drugs for other prescriptions. He said he
had asked some patients to pay for expensive medicine out of their own pockets
because he doesn't have time to call for approval.

 About 320,000 low-income residents participate in Colorado's Medicaid program.
Of those, 7,432 take more than eight prescriptions, including 1,706 who are one
drug over the limit, according to state records.

 Some doctors met with Medicaid officials last week and agreed to allow the
state to closely track the impact of the new policy for a time.

 "If we find out we are spending a significant amount of time on the phone and
our patients are suffering, that's when the line will be drawn," Wallace said.

 Rachel - My Pics: www.picturetrail.com/jracheln"Except for ending slavery,
fascism, nazism and communism, war has never solved anything"Have you forgotten?

Do you Yahoo!?
The New Yahoo! Search - Faster. Easier. Bingo.
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: