The Experience of Sole Community Rural Independent Pharmacies With Medicare Part D: Reports From the Field


Case study describing first-hand reports from 12 rural independent pharmacists in seven states about their experiences with Medicare Part D plans (PDPs) in the first seven months of 2006. The rural independent pharmacists interviewed are experiencing major changes in payment, administrative burden, and interaction with patients as a result of the shift of patients into Medicare Part D plans. Previously, these patients were mostly non-covered cash or Medicaid-covered clients.

Two consequences are apparent in the data collected: 1) Payment per prescription is lower from Medicare PDPs than from either non-covered cash or Medicaid, and in some instances payment from PDPs is less than the combined cost of stocking the medications and dispensing them, representing a reduction in revenue; and 2)The number of plans that provide Part D benefits greatly exceeds the two payment sources pharmacists previously dealt with, representing an increase in administrative burden for independent pharmacies. Funded by the Office of Rural Health Policy: Cooperative Agreement for Rapid Response to Issue-Specific Rural Research

North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Andrea Radford, Rebecca Slifkin, Roslyn Fraser, Michelle Mason, Keith Mueller