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TPA Meets with HHS Officials

Thursday, December 20, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brian Sparks
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Texas HHSC logoTexas Pharmacy Association staff met this week with Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) officials to discuss the Rider 60 Report, which required HHSC to evaluate potential cost savings in the administration of the prescription drug benefits (i.e., whether PBMs are the best deal for taxpayers or if there is a less expensive but more effective and efficient way to administer the pharmacy program). A coalition of pharmacy groups agrees that Rider 60 has the potential for bringing much-needed transparency, cost effectiveness, and better certainty and control for the roughly $8 billion biennial Medicaid prescription drug benefit. CEO Debbie Garza and Stephanie Chiarello, division director of public affairs, along with a coalition of pharmacy groups met with Stephanie Muth, deputy executive commissioner overseeing Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to talk about implications of Rider 60 a swell as a broader role for pharmacists.

Courtney PhillipsThey also met separately with Dr. Courtney Phillips, the new executive commissioner for the Texas HHSC. Phillips, who has a background in health care, has been in her role for a couple of months now, having come from Nebraska where she was CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services; she is from Louisiana, where she worked closely with the pharmacy Medicaid program during Hurricane Katrina. Phillips is taking time to meet with different health care stakeholders to hear from them firsthand. Pharmacy shared concerns regarding reimbursement in Medicaid and the need for it to be fair and transparent. She also heard about pharmacists' ability to help Medicaid beneficiaries with medication adherence and other pharmacy services focusing on keeping them out of higher-cost care. TPA appreciated the opportunity to meet with Phillips and looks forward to being a resource for her and her team as she moves forward in her new role.

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