/publications/issue/2005/2005-02/2005-02-9214

Louisiana Seeks to Cut Medicaid Spending with Buying Pool

Author: Ken Rankin

State health officials in Louisiana have announced plans to join with their counterparts in Maryland and West Virginia to form a multistate drug-buying consortium to reduce the cost of their Medicaid prescription drug programs.

Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals has petitioned the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for authorization to participate in the buying pool, which officials say could result in program savings of $8 million to $10 million annually in their state alone.

A similar plan for a 7-state purchasing pool, which includes Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire, Alaska, Nevada, Minnesota, and Hawaii, was approved by CMS during 2004.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.