Walgreens Drops Medicaid

Posted: 06/05/2009 by that's Elbert in Delaware, health care
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Walgreens Pharmacies in Delaware won’t be taking Medicaid after July 6 unless some agreement with the state. New rules which took effect on April 1st reduce the amount of money the state will pay for brand name prescriptions. According to this WBOC story, Walgreens states that “Delaware now has one of the lowest payment rates in the country for brand name and generic medications.” Further WBOC reports:

Kermit Crawford, Walgreens senior vice president of pharmacy, said, “We have made the decision, after much thought and care, to end our involvement with the state Medicaid program. Quite simply, we can’t continue to participate in a program that, in some cases, pays us less than our cost to fill these prescriptions. By making it uneconomical for pharmacies to continue filling Medicaid prescriptions, the state’s new payments to pharmacies hurt the very patients that Medicaid is meant to serve.”

In this Wall Street Journal article, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services Rita Landgraf stated:

“We need our business partners to help share in the sacrifice that these difficult times require.”

If this is a view of how socialized medicine will treat private business, it will certainly drive businesses away from health care or force them to stop carrying certain prescription drugs due to their lack of profit. Who in their right mind would sell something on a regular basis that will cost them money?

Walgreens must watch their bottom line. The company will “share in the sacrifice” by writing their checks for Delaware taxes. If you think it’s evil for business to show a profit on medicine, then this is probably a great sin on Walgreens part. I really don’t blame Walgreens for their actions.

(cross-posted on DelawarePolitics.net)

  1. Correction: I titled the article wrong. Walgreens is dumping “Medicaid” not “Medicare”. I made the correction and apologize deeply.

  2. paul Baldwin says:

    I sent this to Walgreens:

    Dear Mr. Kermit Crawford:
    I am writing in protest of Walgreens’ decision to drop coverage of Medicaid in Delaware. I do not know if I or my wife will ever use Medicaid but I do know that many citizens are now facing a loss of an important service.

    You will find there is a negative financial cost of your decision. My wife and I ring up an annual total of $7200.00 of RX (plus other sundry) that will be transferred to Rite Aid. While this may not have a great impact on your corporate bottom line I will encourage other friends and relatives to this permanent severance of relations with your firm.