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2005 Testimony

Testimony Before The Senate Human Services Committee

Judy Lee, Chairman

SB 2394 - Medication therapy

January 31, 2005

Chairman Lee, members of the committee, I am David Zentner, Director of Medical Services for the Department of Human Services. I appear before you to provide information regarding this proposed legislation.

This bill would require the Department to establish a medication therapy management program. This approach is one method used to improve the delivery of quality services through disease management. The Department is currently examining several options available to us for implementing disease management. One of those options was presented this morning by Donald Muse, who suggested we concentrate our efforts on those recipients who incur high costs.

The Department has looked at the potential of using pharmacists to assist in the disease management process, and believe it can be a viable method of ensuring that Medicaid recipients receive quality care in a cost effective manner. We are somewhat concerned that this bill would mandate that we implement this approach, when other methods may also be effective in improving quality and controlling costs.

The Department has included $200,000 of which $100,000 is general funds, to begin a disease management program in our appropriation request for the next biennium.

Paragraph 3 indicates that the Department may apply to receive dollars from other sources to implement this program. It may be difficult to convince grantees to provide funding because disease management can be provided as a service or administrative cost through the Medicaid program.

I would be happy to respond to any questions you may have.


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