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New Poll: Voters Want to Reduce Wasteful Spending in Medicaid Pharmacy

Fri, 12/10/2010 - 7:35am
Bio-Medicine.Org

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Voters would rather reduce Medicaid spending by better managing pharmacy benefits rather than cutting benefits for patients or payments to doctors and hospitals, according to a new poll commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA). 

This poll comes on the heels of a new state-by-state economic analysis released by The Lewin Group showing that Medicaid uses fewer generic drugs and pays higher pharmacy costs than other programs.  The report also finds that Medicaid pharmacy could save more than $30 billion over the next decade by transitioning from the current approach used by state Medicaid fee-for-service (FFS) programs to the more efficient approaches used by Medicare Part D plans, Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), and the commercial sector, including typical state employee plans. 

"This poll shows Congress and the Governors how to reduce billions in Medicaid spending without harming patients or inciting a voter backlash.  Voters don't want Medicaid to pay pharmacies more and use fewer generics than other programs," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

Key Findings from the Ayres, McHenry & Associates, Inc. survey include:

  • By an 80 to 15 percent margin, voters don't want Medicaid to pay drugstores more for prescription drugs than private plans pay.
  • Voters support reducing spending on Medicaid, provided benefits are not cut for patients in the program. Voters support reducing spending on Medicaid by a 63 to 25 percent margin "if it did not require cutting benefits for patients in the program."  A plurality of voters opposes reducing spending on Medicaid (49 to 36 percent) "if it meant reducing benefits for patients in the program or allowing fewer people to participate in the program."
  • Voters find approaches to cutting Med

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