Coalition Aims to Help Ease Healthcare Budget Cuts

Tuesday, 09 Aug 2011 11:31 AM

By T.M. Golub

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A coalition formed Monday in Illinois will attempt to preserve access to quality healthcare in the ever-growing number of states hit by budget cuts. The Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) brings together consumers, local businesses, and pharmacists.
The impetus for the nationwide coalition was the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services decision to reduce reimbursements community-based pharmacies receive for the cost of drugs for those Medicaid patients they serve.
“Community pharmacies and other Medicaid providers have already withstood the brunt of cuts made to the Illinois budget,” said Todd Evers, president-elect of the Illinois Pharmacists Association. “We understand times are tough, but the way back to fiscal health for Illinois should not come at the expense of the health of Illinois' most vulnerable.”
The proposed cuts are a serious threat to Medicaid patients and impedes their ability to access essential pharmacy care, PCAN says. Approximately 23 percent of Illinois seniors and those with disabilities are set to lose state-sponsored prescription drug coverage beginning Sept. 1.

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