Client News

Tampa Tribune: Speak up about changes to health care laws, Medicaid

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


It’s no secret that health care in Florida is going through some very significant changes. New federal health care laws, coupled with the major shifts in our state’s Medicaid program, will undoubtedly change the way Floridians receive care.

Community pharmacies will certainly feel the effects of these new laws. Under Medicaid managed care, if the law is implemented without simple protections for pharmacies and patients, Medicaid patients may lose access to the services and care offered by the pharmacist they have come to know and depend upon.

Not only will it be harder to access medication, but it will result in lost jobs and greater harm to Florida’s economy as local businesses will be forced to close.

As a pharmacist, it is my job to ensure the patients who frequent my pharmacy receive the highest quality of hands-on service available. That means taking an interest in whether they are using their prescriptions properly, the effects that medications are having on them and offering my counsel on ailments so patients can improve quickly. This only comes from years of experience as well as close relationships with my clientele. I believe that changes to Medicaid must be made without limiting or eliminating a pharmacist’s ability to serve Medicaid patients or the general public. By excluding local pharmacists, we are taking a step back, and Florida’s health care quality will drop.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is holding a series of meetings in the coming days to hear public reaction to the shift to managed care. These meetings are a great opportunity for you to show your support for your local pharmacy and to ensure our lawmakers fully understand the need to be mindful of Medicaid patients and community-based pharmacies as they begin to implement
managed care in our state.

Two meetings will be held in the Tampa Bay area, and I urge all residents to attend: Today the meeting is from 9 a.m. until noon at the Mary Grizzle Building, rooms 136 and 137, 11351 Ulmerton Road in Largo (33778-1629). On Thursday, it’s from 9 a.m. until noon at the Florida Department of Transportation auditorium, 11201 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa (33612).

The decision made by AHCA will affect all Floridians, and I urge you to make your voice heard. I also want to encourage all Floridians to sign the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now petition to protect our access to necessary pharmacy and health care services at

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