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The Texas Association of Health Plans engaged The Menges Group to prepare an analysis of the impacts of switching from a statewide uniform Medicaid prescription formulary to a model that allows Medicaid MCOs flexibility to develop their own preferred drug lists (PDL). Currently, Medicaid MCOs in Texas must utilize a uniform formulary controlled by the state. In this report, we assessed a model in which Medicaid MCOs have the latitude to manage the covered mix of drugs through their own PDLs. We conducted this assessment using multiple analyses, including a cost per prescription analysis, therapeutic class analysis, and quantitative and qualitative survey of Texas MCOs. This approach is estimated to result in total annual Medicaid savings of $236 million and annual general revenue savings of nearly $100 million. For this reason, a policy change towards the PDL latitude model is recommended. In addition to the report, a presentation summarizing the findings can be found in the Executive Summary hyperlink.

We were asked by the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) to estimate the Medicaid savings created by the capitated coordinated care model. The report estimates the savings each state is achieving with its existing capitation program, as well as the additional savings that will occur if remaining fee-for-service Medicaid spending in each state is transitioned to capitation through contracts with managed care organizations (MCOs). Savings estimates are provided within each state for each major Medicaid eligibility group. Nationwide savings from existing Medicaid MCO capitation programs are estimated at $2.1 billion in 2011, increasing to $6.4 billion in 2016.

This study examined 35 states and DC that used the Managed Care Organization (MCO) model in their Medicaid program and either included (carved-in) or excluded (carved-out) pharmacy benefits from coverage. The report found that carve-in states outperform carve-out states by a wide margin, saving Medicaid $2.06 billion in state and federal expenditures in 2014 alone.

Key findings of the report include:
Across 28 states using the carve-in model, the net cost per prescription was 14.6% lower than the average net cost per prescription in states not carving in pharmacy.

This 14.6% differential created a $2.06 billion net savings in state and federal expenditures in FFY2014 for states deploying the carve-in model.
The seven carve-out states had a 20% increase in net costs per prescription from FFY2011-FFY2014 — in stark contrast to the 1% increase in net costs per prescription experienced by the 6 states that recently switched from a carve-out to a carve-in model.
The seven carve-out states “missed” a total of $307 million in savings in FFY2014 which would have occurred had they used a carve-in model.

Prescriptions for a Healthy America (P4HA) released a report by the Menges Group examining how Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are combatting prescription drug nonadherence.

The report highlights the efforts of several Medicaid plans and their best practices for improving prescription drug adherence

In commenting on the report’s release, Joel White, President of Prescriptions for a Healthy America made the following statement: “We believe this report is another important contribution to the growing body of evidence that finds medication adherence saves money and improves health. What’s particularly exciting are the strategies outlined in the report can be adopted, today, by Governors across the country as they seek to improve Medicaid in ways that improve patient health, lower health costs and make the health system work better for everyday Americans. We encourage Governors to take notice.”

The report’s lead author, Joel Menges, noted that: “While a large segment of the Medicaid population takes medication daily, the poverty population’s life circumstances can diminish adherence in many ways. The supportive innovations occurring in this arena are of benefit to all stakeholders.”

This report assesses Medicaid MCO quality scores as published annually by NCQA. One of the report’s key findings is that there does not appear to be any relationship between Medicaid MCOs’ enrollment levels and their quality scores. Another is that high-scoring plans are disproportionately concentrated in certain states – with these patterns often recurring (with different health plans in these same states) with regard to quality scores in the Medicare and private insurance sectors. This leads us to conclude that some geographic areas are more conducive to high scores than others – and that MCOs making the same efforts in quality would likely obtain very different quality scores based on the market area in which they operate. Our report also identifies the Medicaid MCOs with both large enrollment and high quality scores, the MCOs that stand out most favorably relative to average scores within their state, and the NCQA-accredited MCOs achieving the greatest improvements in their quality scores between 2010 and 2013.

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) enlisted The Menges Group to prepare a report on the ways in which state Medicaid agencies have opted to regulate Medicaid MCO PDL content. Most states afford MCOs wide latitude in establishing their PDLs. Conversely, a few states require MCOs to use the statewide Medicaid fee-for-service PDL, and a few others have taken a middle ground regulatory position. The paper emphasizes that utilizing the lowest-cost, clinically effective medication is one of the most important avenues available to achieve Medicaid savings, and concludes that wide MCO latitude over PDL content is the most appropriate policy.

The 2013 SNP Alliance Advanced Practice and Profile Report is the sixth edition of SNP performance findings for members of the SNP Alliance. The SNP Alliance is a national leadership group of 30 organizations that collectively represent more than half of current national SNP enrollment. The Menges Group authored the 2013 report.

This study explores how more efficient pharmacy benefits management—apart from drug manufacturer rebates—could save Medicaid an additional $74.4 billion over the next decade. These savings opportunities are compelling as the federal government and states strive to protect benefits and prepare for the Medicaid expansion authorized by the Affordable Care Act starting in 2014.

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