If you’re a Medicaid patient and try to get a prescription filled after October 1, you might have an unpleasant surprise in store. According to an article on the American Academy of Family Physicians Web site, a provision in the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007 requires that prescriptions for Medicaid patients be written on tamper-resistant pads beginning October 1, 2007.
The purpose of the law is laudable––to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and make it more difficult for patients to obtain controlled drugs illegally. Federal budget estimates say this new requirement will save taxpayers $510 million over the next ten years.
The problem with the law is the start date. Since most doctors don’t use tamper-resistant pads as a general rule, the October 1 date is just too soon. Physicians have to be educated about the law and the new prescription pads must be produced and distributed nationwide. Although 13 states already require the tamper-proof pads, they are usually only used for prescribing controlled drugs. In those states, doctors were generally given a year or more before the law took effect.
Pharmacists groups have asked for a delay in implementing the law but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) say they have no plans to change the start date. However, since the CMS has yet to publish proposed rules for implementing the new law, it’s hard to imagine the date won’t be changed.
To be on the safe side, if you’re a Medicaid patient, you might want to contact your doctor now to make sure he knows about the law and will have the required prescription pads by October 1. You don’t want your pharmacist to refuse to fill your prescription because it’s not written on the appropriate type of pad.
Read the full article: Law to Make Prescriptions Tamper-Proof Raises Concerns
Published On: July 21, 2007