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Assessment of Medicaid MCO Preferred Drug Policy Options in Louisiana

Over 90 percent of Louisiana’s Medicaid prescriptions are paid for by MCOs.  The Louisiana Association of Health Plans engaged us to assess the impacts of a potential policy change to take the preferred drug list (PDL) content responsibility away from the Medicaid MCOs and shift it to a single state-administered and state-determined PDL. Our key finding is that this policy change would be costly to the State and its taxpayers – increasing overall annual Medicaid costs by $40 million and increasing annual State Fund expenditures by approximately $15 million.  Our report provides evidence across dozens of states demonstrating that a focus on optimal management of Medicaid’s drug mix at the “front end” produces more favorable net costs than an approach that relies primarily on “back end” rebate maximization.

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