Pharmacists May Appeal Medi-Cal Cuts

California pharmacists denounced the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refusal to revisit an opinion approving a 10 percent cut in Medi-Cal reimbursement to pharmacies.  The California Pharmacists Association may press an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The group failed to convince a majority of the full court (27 judges) to reconsider its December 13 opinion Friday.

“We are deeply disappointed in today’s decision and absolutely believe it will result in harm to Medi-Cal patients,” said Jon Roth, chief executive officer of CPhA in a prepared a statement.  “It is absurd to think you can slash reimbursement rates resulting in pharmacists providing services below their actual costs while at the same time expanding the Medic-Cal program to 4 million additional beneficiaries under health care reform beginning in 2013,” he said.

The original panel determined that California lawmakers appropriately deferred to a Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services administrative decision that approved state cuts to providers and that the plan would meet requirements to protect access to care.

The appeals court amended its decision slightly on Friday, narrowing the options for CPhA.