National Alliance on Mental Illness
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June 24, 2005

NAMI Florida Seeking Medication Access Protections

NAMI Florida and 64 other supporting organizations have appealed to Florida’s Governor, Health Cabinet Secretary, elected leaders, and members of the state’s Medicaid Pharmaceutical & Therapeutics (P&T) Committee for protections for Medicaid recipients as the state prepares to enforce recently approved revisions to the state’s pharmacy benefit. Delivered through a resolution, the coalition calls for the following interventions as the state implements the changes:

1. Allow current Medicaid patients to remain on their current medications without applying any new prior authorization step therapy requirements;

2. Gradually phase in any new prior authorization step therapy requirements after careful consultation with medical specialists and Medicaid consumers (outside of the P&T committee) to prevent harmful clinical consequences flowing from abrupt changes in patients’ medications;

3. Ensure that all prior authorization, including requests for exceptions to step therapy, are granted by AHCA within 24 hours.

4. Monitor and report the impact of new prior authorization step therapy requirements including review of the agency’s capacity to timely respond to prior authorization requests; review of paperwork requirements for physicians to ensure they are not a barrier to access; review of clinical outcomes for Medicaid patients; and review of the fiscal impact of prior authorization-step therapy requirements on the overall Medicaid and state budget (such as impact on the Medicaid hospitalizations, Baker Act admissions, arrests and incarcerations, etc.)

The P&T Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 at 9 AM in the Knott Building in Tallahassee. Read the full text of the resolution.