While the Medicare drug plans maintain they pay pharmacists promptly, a University of Texas study commissioned by the pharmacists found that wasn’t the case. The university’s researchers studied about 3 million prescription drug claims submitted last year by independent and chain pharmacies. They found that less than 1 percent of claims were paid within two weeks, while 44.1 percent were paid after more than 30 days. The researchers said the delays did not just occur in the program’s early months. “Twelve months into the Medicare Part D program, when we really expected most of the bumps in the system would be smoothed out, we found that pharmacies did not receive payment within 30 days for almost 41 percent of their December claims,” said Kristin Richards, an associate researcher at the university’s Center for Pharmacoeconomics.
Small-town Pharmacists Closing Doors