On September 21, 2023, the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy (the “Board”) voted to approve and finalize modifications to its proposed rule on shared services. The Board had initially published the proposed rule on June 10, 2022. After a heavily attended public hearing on the proposed rule, multiple comments from stakeholders, and more than 15 months of review and deliberation, the Board only made slight modifications to the rule and approved for final review by the state’s Occupational Licensing Review Commission (“OLRC”). If approved by the OLRC, the rule will be filed with the Secretary of State as final. Major highlights include: the definition of “shared pharmacy services” was expanded; a requirement that the originating pharmacy be the filling and dispensing pharmacy – effectively prohibiting central fill arrangements; and patient notification of shared services.
Quarles & Brady LLP
On June 10, the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy filed a proposed rule on shared pharmacy services in order to remove outdated definitions and add new ones that better reflect the Board’s current regulations. Notable highlights from the rule include a new definition for shared services. Shared services now mean performing only a portion of the medication management process, which may include data entry, prior authorizations, reviewing therapeutic interventions, or reviewing chart orders. The rule also mandates that pharmacies must have the same owner or common practice setting, a written contract or agreement, and a common electronic file that allows access to necessary information. The proposed effective date of the rule on shared services, and amended definitions, is July 10, 2022.
The Mississippi House of Representatives recently passed HB 733, a reimbursement bill that now heads to the state Senate. HB 733 would require pharmacies to be reimbursed at a rate no less than the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost, plus $11.29 (the state Medicaid professional dispensing fee) for commercial claims. This provision is similar to a provision passed last year in West Virginia and legislation currently being considered in Iowa and New Hampshire. Aside from regulating reimbursement rates, HB 733 would require PSAOs to be licensed in the state of Mississippi. If passed, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2022.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed SB 2095, the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, into law on February 2, 2022. The new bill allows physicians to prescribe, and pharmacists to dispense, medical marijuana as a treatment for chronic conditions like cancer, Chron’s disease, and HIV/AIDS. Under SB 2095, patients with qualifying conditions have access to 3.5 grams of marijuana per day, with a monthly limit of 3 ounces. With a prescription, patients can pick up cannabis products with less than 30% THC at a local pharmacy. SB 2095 law goes into effect immediately.
The Mississippi State Auditor's Office is investigating UnitedHealth Group, a managed healthcare and insurance company and the 5th largest company in the US, to determine whether they are over-billing Medicaid for prescription drugs. The state's auditor office has been investigating PBMs in the state and probing their billing practices to help regulate their practices.