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Independent And Community Pharmacies Fight For Inclusion In Medicaid Managed Care

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Independent and community pharmacists are fighting to be included in Florida's new Medicaid managed care program. They want the Agency for Healthcare Administration to adopt a rule allowing Medicaid patients to get prescriptions filled at the drugstore of their choice.

Tracey Jackson and her husband opened Jackson's Drug store in Monticello in 1966. About 85 percent of her customers are on Medicaid.  Jackson worries her business could dry up if the state decides to go with mail-order pharmacies, something it's already done with some of the state-backed employee health plans.

"They're just taking the patient's choice out of the picture, and it's not fair," she says.

State Representative Rob Schenck, who co-authored the Medicaid managed care law, says there's no mail-order requirement in it. Pharmacies say they just want an equal playing field.