La. Medicaid pharmacy program changes in the works

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's state health department wants to add a pharmacy benefit to private insurance networks that are providing health care for much of the poor who receive coverage through Medicaid.

The Advocate reports ( that three health insurance entities paid a per-member, per-month premium for Bayou Health participants and will start managing the delivery of pharmacy services in their patients' care plans by the fall. Currently, Medicaid recipients' prescription drug coverage is handled through a state-run pharmacy program.

The Department of Health and Hospitals will hold six hearings around Louisiana this month to discuss the planned changes, which will affect hundreds of thousands of people in the managed care networks, primarily pregnant women and children.