Reimbursement Cuts Trigger Reduced Pharmacy Hours
At least 9 Rite Aid pharmacies in Maine have reduced their prescription department operating hours in response to the state's latest cutbacks in reimbursement for Medicaid prescriptions. The cuts target brand name drugs, for which pharmacists will be paid average wholesale price (AWP) less 15%. The reimbursement for generic drugs will remain at AWP less 13%.
Officials at Rite Aid said that even before the latest budget cut Maine had the lowest reimbursement rate in the country for generic drugs. Reducing pharmacy department hours in Rite Aid stores that do the most Medicaid business is necessary to compensate for the lost revenue, company officials said.
Under the service cuts announced by the chain, Rite Aid stores will remain open for their normal hours, but prescription departments will close on Sunday in 6 pharmacies. Others will have Saturday and evening hours trimmed back.