HEALTH CARE SAFETY NET PHARMACY EXPANSION
Retail Pharmacies Join in Rx Outreach and Insulin Network
Nashville – Governor Phil Bredesen today announced that people losing TennCare coverage now have a network of more than 1300 local pharmacies that will participate in Rx Outreach to serve disenrollees as part of the Health Care Safety Net. The network includes both independent pharmacies and chain stores across Tennessee that have signed agreements to participate in the program, which provides certain generic drugs, insulin and diabetic supplies.
“I want to thank the pharmacists across Tennessee who are helping strengthen our state’s healthcare safety net by participating in these important programs,” Bredesen said. “I also want to recognize and thank the pharmacists and other healthcare providers who are working with those coming off TennCare or facing new benefits limitations to help them make sound clinical decisions.”
Local pharmacies participating in Rx Outreach and the insulin network include more than 250 independent pharmacies across the state as well as leading chains, including Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Fred’s, Eckerd, Kmart, Target, and others. A complete network list is available online at http://www.tn.gov/finance/newsrel/Rx_Outreach_pharms.pdf.
“We have moved very quickly to put this network in place, so we ask people to please work with us if they encounter any problems as they begin to access it,” said Laurie Lee, director of Health Planning Services for the Department of Finance and Administration. “We are working in partnership with a number of groups – including the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, the Tennessee Retail Association and advocate groups – to share information as broadly and quickly as possible.”
Individuals wanting to confirm that a pharmacy is in the network and local pharmacies that want to confirm their participation can access the network list online. The Health Options hotline operated by the State of Tennessee will also have the list beginning September 1.
Participating pharmacies will be able to fill 90-day prescriptions of certain generic drugs for former TennCare members, as well as dispensing insulin and supplies to insulin-dependent diabetics losing their TennCare coverage.
Earlier this year it was announced that local pharmacies would join the prescription drug safety net program. Rx Outreach provides free generic medicines from a list of over 55 FDA-approved drugs to help treat problems like asthma, high blood pressure and depression. The state will cover the cost of the generics program – approximately $12 million – through the end of the year (or June 30, 2006, for those identified as TennCare as mentally ill).
The state’s transitional assistance program for insulin-dependent TennCare enrollees who are losing their coverage is a partnership with the Tennessee Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation. It will provide four months of insulin and supplies for eligible disenrollees.
The Health Options hotline, operated by the State of Tennessee, can assist former TennCare members with transitional services available to them at 1-888-486-9355. Services include Rx Outreach for generic drugs as well as a discount card for brand and generic drugs and assistance in participating in drug manufacturers’ pharmacy assistance programs. Assistance is also offered in accessing the Community Mental Health Agency Network, as well as additional services for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses.