Monday, March 15, 2010

Healthcare reality from Walgreens (WAG)

Walgreens (WAG) will stop accepting Washington state Medicaid patients at its pharmacies, after the state reduced reimbursement rates.  As a pubic company, they have an obligation to their shareholders NOT to accept loss-generating business from an increasingly belligerent government program.

From the release:

DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Walgreens (NYSEWAG -News) (NASDAQWAG - News) has given notice to the State of Washington that its pharmacies across the state will continue filling Medicaid prescriptions for current patients, but effective April 16 they will not accept new Washington Medicaid patients. The company, which operates 121 pharmacies in Washington, originally planned to stop filling Medicaid prescriptions in February at 64 of its stores across the state because of continued reduction in reimbursement under the State’s program. That decision was delayed while negotiations continued over the last month.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed that the alternatives we’ve suggested have failed to achieve a compromise,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens executive vice president of pharmacy. “We intend to continue our commitment to serving our existing patients, but we simply can not take on additional losses. As we seek to find a solution, we remain hopeful that our continued work with the State Department of Social and Health Services will ultimately result in maintaining access to quality pharmacy care for those most in need.”

Copyright 2010 AlphaNinja

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