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Florida pharmacists accuse state of shutting them out of Medicaid

The Florida Pharmacy Association announced today that it has filed a lawsuit in Leon County's Circuit Court in an attempt to nullify state procedures they say is beginning to leave Florida pharmacists out of the business of fullfilling prescriptions for Medicaid patients.

The state's Agency for Health Care Administration has been entering into contract with HMOs and managed care companies to provide services to Medicaid patients, and those companies have been requiring clients to use mail-order pharmacies, the lawsuit alleges. That is leaving Florida-based pharmacies out of the equation and causing them to lose thousands of customers, the association said.

“In the last several sessions and special sessions, the Florida Legislature has worked tirelessly to enact multiple laws to assure Florida’s Medicaid program was not handed over to HMOs without strict oversight, regulation and accountability," Lori Weems, general counsel and governmental consultant for the Florida Pharmacy Association, said via a news release announcing the lawsuit.

"We have recently learned that over at least the last two-and-a-half years the agency has secretly been entering and awarding contracts that amount to just such a hand-off to HMOs in what we believe to be a full and illegal privatization of Medicaid for the majority of Medicaid patients," she said.

The association also believes that AHCA has violated its own Medicaid State Health Plan by "denying Medicaid patients the pharmacy access and freedom of provider choice that is rightfully theirs.”

Two Medicaid patients and a handful of independent pharmacies are named in the lawsuit. Among them is Lisa Oberly, a Medicaid patient in Orlando with cystic fibrosis, who said she is fearful AHCA will force her into an HMO.

An AHCA spokeswoman said the agency has not yet received a copy of the complaint.

Download FPA Press Release & Lawsuit

Comments

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whasup

" to be a full and illegal privatization of Medicaid"

Well ... no. The mail order drug purveyors are private companies just like the local pharmacy is a private company.

This fight is just about the legislature being used to steer government paid-for drug money to certain companies and away from others.

If the taxpayers are paying for the drugs, then we should get the best price available, no matter who is offering it.

So let the mom and pop drug stores cut their prices to compete, and keep the government out of the free market for legal drugs.

Now, since if the mail order shops are out-of-state, then the drug money paid by Florida taxpayers is not going to help our state economy, but economies elsewhere.

So if the pharmacy association wants to make an argument for government regulation to steer our money somewhere, let them argue for spending Floridians' tax money here in our state.

WatchingU2

The Florida Pharmacy Association's general counsel either knows nothing about Medicaid or she constructed this complaint and press release mostly for the purpose of getting as much free publicity as possible from the news media. It worked. The Herald did exactly what she wanted by quoting her tripe so extensively.

Her assertions are so ludicrous that they'd be LOL funny, except for the fact that people read this stuff and then think it's true.

Tia: Please do a little digging into the facts before you post junk like this. After you *do* take the time to do some actual research (like reporters are supposed to do), you'll discover that this lawsuit is stupid and that you've been fooled into helping legitimize the plaintiff's baseless case.

I wouldn't be surprised if this lawsuit gets dismissed with prejudice.

Big Voice

One thing for certain the liberal courts around this state are a booming business for any whining liberal who does not get their way. At least some liberal attorneys are making a few bucks during the recession.

Chris

Wow... Personal attacks again! Shocking. Wonder if anyone knows where Florida's Managed Care Medicaid waiver went... It was termInated by CMS in June 2012 - Can you say check mate, Florida???? Sounds like some HMO or PBM is a little worried. Since when did attacking HMOs & monopolies become "liberal? I didn't get that memo.... Sounds like Tallahassee's finest got their feathers ruffled tonight!

Susannah

Hey, Mr. Chairman, been WatchingU2, what is all this about non-FQHC clinic dispensing, USF, Polytechnic, allied health "finishing schools," development partnerships out of New York, arsenic DEP cover-ups, tax incentives, fast action closing funds, local government guarantees, no new jobs, Colorado call centers, CA's employer, WellDyne Rx, Broad & Cassel chairmen, shutting out Publix from Medicaid in Lakeland, redirecting 100 Meficaid patients from JEA's personal pharmacy, Eagle's Landing, Highlands Holdings, WW, JE. And almost forgot... Atl. Fndtn., the Cornell Companies n/k/a GEO Group, SB 1836 (2010 C/R), "rebates" that cost 3 times the rebate, automobile auction lots, CDB,II corporate board conflicts and sweetheart deals, Stimulus money HUGE expenditures and Obamacare profiteering. Did I mention clinics???? Kind of a big deal....

WatchingU2evencloser

Well it looks like "watchingu2" is in a bit of a panic that someone's hand was caught in the cookie jar. There's an old saying "when the facts are against you, argue the law. When the law is against you, argue the facts. When both are against you, pound the table".

enjoy pounding the table. the governor is determined to get an ROI on his 70 million he invested in the State of Florida, and setting up Rickcare instead of Obamacare seems like a pretty nifty way to do. Criticize the Dems in DC for limiting our choices because they compete with his ability to limit our choices. Either way, both Obama and Rick/JD are all in one way working to destroy our healthcare system to profit for themselves as elected officials.

WatchingU2

Dear namesake:

I like the old saying you quoted ("when the facts are against you," etc.) because it is a perfect description of the complaint filed in this lawsuit. As I described before, the complaint and press release are full of "table pounding" with very little (if any) basis in either fact or law. If you knew anything about Medicaid, you'd know I'm right.

I continue to believe the plaintiffs know their lawsuit is doomed to failure, or at least the ringleaders do. I feel quite sure it's merely a publicity stunt. Perhaps we can exchange posts again after the case is either dismissed or dropped. I'll admit I'm wrong if the plaintiffs win this case, but the chance of that happening is less than our chances of winning the Powerball.

Also, glad to know you're watching me even closer. That way, you might learn something.

Btw, Dr. Urnowey, HMOs don't sell pharmaceuticals; they buy pharmaceuticals by way of paying for prescriptions for their members.

Shane K Richardson

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WatchingU2

Dear WatchingU2evencloser,

Thought you'd want to know... this idiotic lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed, with prejudice, at the request of the plaintiffs on Dec 10, 2012, just like I predicted back on July 26.

Was there any other table-pounding you wanted to do? Please let us hear your reaction.

Also, to Tia Mitchell -- the reporter who posted this story. Now that this case has been dismissed, which pretty much validates everything I said about it, including how you and the Herald were duped into providing the plaintiffs with free publicity... I assume you'll run a follow-up story to update your readers to that effect. Yes? No?

In any event, let this case be a lesson to everyone.

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