Mar 25, 2021
Trillium Health joined over 160 organizations representing labor, healthcare, faith-based organizations, and community-based organizations in a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo expressing a strong opposition to carving the pharmacy benefit out of Medicaid Managed Care and transitioning it to a fee-for-service model. Highlights from the letter:
- Safety net hospitals, community health centers, and Ryan White providers use savings from the 340B drug discount to be able to provide high quality care and treatment regardless of a patient’s ability to pay or insurance status. An estimated 15% of the 2.3 million patients served by New York’s community health centers are uninsured and 29% of patients have another primary language and speak limited English.
- The proposed change will add additional healthcare, fiscal, and social burdens to communities of color, which have historically suffered from healthcare disparities and are now disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Neighborhood community health centers and other covered entities are vital part of the national COVID-19 vaccination effort, as has recently been stated by President Biden’s administration, so undermining these community health providers at this time will harm New York’s COVID-19 response and go against the Biden administration’s and your commitment to addressing racial health disparities.
- Community health programs supported by 340B are at the forefront of providing health services to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. The carve-out will have a devastating and destabilizing impact on health care providers that serve New Yorkers who are homeless, and disruptions in care, treatment and services to this population will lead to lives lost and a higher burden of expensive emergency room care.
- Safety net providers, health plans, and community organizations serving people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), hepatitis B and C, have built a successful statewide system in New York that has saved countless lives and made tremendous progress toward ending the HIV/AIDS and the hepatitis B and C epidemics. Carving out the pharmacy benefit from Medicaid managed care will lead to decreased access to curative treatments for hepatitis C and a decrease in the HIV viral suppression rate across our state, thus threatening progress toward your goals of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic (ETE) and eliminating hepatitis C.
The coalition called on the governor to reverse the “carve-out” as soon as possible.