Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

Bill Introduced to Repeal Law Exempting Mental Health Medications from Medicaid Prior Authorization or Preferred Drug Lists

January 29, 2015 8:14 PM | Anonymous

For years, mental health advocates have opposed managed care restrictions that could stand between mental health consumers and their preferred medications. This year, the state agency that oversees Kancare (Kansas' Medicaid program) is recommending the Kansas Legislature repeal the law that exempts mental health medications from prior authorizations or preferred drug lists.

A bill was introduced Thursday, Jan. 29th, in the Senate Public Health Committee to repeal the law that exempts mental health medications from prior authorizations or preferred drug lists. The language is not yet available but should be published soon.

Governor Brownback has made a mental health drug formulary part of his proposed budget. An article at KHI.org cites state officials estimate the repeal could save the Medicaid program more than $8 million - a surprising assessment since one of the most cited high cost medications will have a generic alternative in the next few months, whether or not the law is repealed.

Coalition members expressed their concerns about this proposal to Kari Bruffett, KDADS Secretary, at the January KMHC Meeting. The Secretary indicated an interest in receiving recommendations from Coalition members if an appropriate process can be identified. At this point, KDADS and KDHE are recommending the statute be repealed, citing the need to have full flexibility to implement prior authorization rules (PAs) and safety edits without any restrictions. It is unclear if a Preferred Drug List is intended. The Secretary also expressed an interest in deleting the prohibition for step therapy. In testimony to the Legislature, Secretary Mosier, KDHE, has indicated that they were not planning to change medications for individuals with chronic and persistent mental illness who are already on a successful medication plan. The rules for this exception would need to be developed. READ THE KHI ARTICLE.


(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4744, Topeka, KS  66604  785-969-1617

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