Saying that Medicaid reimbursement rates are too low, Walgreens announced it will no longer fill prescriptions for new Medicaid patients in Washington state starting April 16.

The national chain of drug stores is the third pharmacy provider in Washington to refuse new Medicaid patients in recent months. The pharmacies are continuing to fill prescriptions for existing Medicaid customers.

The move comes after the state dropped its reimbursement rate to what the pharmacies say is below their break-even point for many drugs.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Medicaid is a state-managed federal health care program that serves people with disabilities and those with low incomes. In Washington, 1 million residents rely on Medicaid.

The trouble began in July when Washington lowered its reimbursement rate from 86 percent to 84 percent of a drug’s wholesale price. Then in September a lawsuit led the company that sets wholesale pricing for drugs to reduce their prices by about 4 percent, further devaluing the state reimbursement.

The result, the pharmacies say, is that they are not paid enough to break even on servicing Medicaid clients.

Representatives of the state’s Medicaid program, however, insist that there are plenty of pharmacies that still accept business from new Medicaid beneficiaries, reports the Seattle Times. To read more click here.

Read more stories like this one. Sign up for Disability Scoop's free email newsletter to get the latest developmental disability news sent straight to your inbox.