Vol. 35 Iss. 12 - February 04, 2019

Chapter 50
Fast-Track Regulation

Title of Regulation: 12VAC30-50. Amount, Duration, and Scope of Medical and Remedial Care Services (amending 12VAC30-50-210).

Statutory Authority: § 32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia; 42 USC § 1396 et seq.

Public Hearing Information: No public hearings are scheduled.

Public Comment Deadline: March 6, 2019.

Effective Date: March 21, 2019.

Agency Contact: Emily McClellan, Regulatory Supervisor, Policy Division, Department of Medical Assistance Services, 600 East Broad Street, Suite 1300, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 371-4300, FAX (804) 786-1680, or email

Basis: Section 32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia grants the Board of Medical Assistance Services the authority to administer and amend the State Plan for Medical Assistance. Section 32.1-324 of the Code of Virginia authorizes the Director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to administer and amend the State Plan for Medical Assistance according to the board's requirements. The Medicaid authority as established by § 1902(a) of the Social Security Act (42 USC § 1396a) provides governing authority for payments for services.

Purpose: The purpose of this action is to allow DMAS to align drug formularies across fee-for-service and Medicaid managed care health plans so that DMAS may collect supplemental rebates for Medicaid member drug utilization through managed care organizations (MCOs). This will protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens in that it will allow recipients to continue their medications in the event they change from fee-for-service to managed care and will minimize potential disruptions in the recipient's drug therapy.

Rationale for Using Fast-Track Rulemaking Process: This regulatory action is being promulgated as a fast-track rulemaking action because it is expected to be noncontroversial. The 2010 Affordable Care Act expanded the collection of federal rebates for drugs administered to Medicaid recipients enrolled with Medicaid managed care plans. The department has been collecting federal rebates for this population since 2010. Effective, August 1, 2017, with the implementation of the Commonwealth Coordinated Care program, Medicaid managed health plans are contractually required to cover all "preferred" drugs on Virginia Medicaid's fee-for-service preferred drug list (PDL). DMAS will be soliciting drug rebates for select "preferred" drugs for recipients enrolled with Medicaid managed care health plans. Contractually, the health plans are required to cover these drugs, therefore no opposition is anticipated from the managed care health plans or pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Substance: This regulatory action permits DMAS to collect supplemental payments for Medicaid member utilization through MCOs.

Issues: The primary advantage to the Commonwealth and the public from this regulatory change is collection of additional supplemental drug rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers for drugs dispensed to Medicaid recipients enrolled in a Medicaid managed care health plan.

There are no disadvantages to the Commonwealth or the public as a result of this regulatory action.

The Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The Board of Medical Assistance Services (Board) proposes to authorize the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to collect supplemental rebates for drugs dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries who receive care through managed care organizations.

Result of Analysis. There is insufficient information to accurately compare the magnitude of the benefits versus the costs.

Estimated Economic Impact. Drug rebates have long been collected from participating drug manufacturers to help offset the federal and state costs of most outpatient prescription drugs dispensed to Medicaid fee-for-service patients. Under the federal rebate program, a drug manufacturer is required to enter into a national rebate agreement in exchange for Medicaid coverage. The 2010 Affordable Care Act allowed collection of federal rebates for drugs dispensed to Medicaid managed care patients. In this action, the Board proposes to authorize DMAS to collect supplemental rebates in addition to the federal rebates.

Currently, in Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus program, Medicaid managed health plans are contractually required to cover all "preferred" drugs on Virginia Medicaid's fee-for-service preferred drug list (PDL). The proposed supplemental rebates from managed care drugs will give Virginia Medicaid leverage to control drug costs above and beyond the control exercised by the federally required rebates. DMAS estimates that it would collect about $5 to $6 million in supplemental drug rebates annually.1 2 Thus, the main benefit of the proposed regulation is to further offset the state cost of outpatient drugs dispensed to managed care recipients.

The cost will mainly fall on the drug manufacturers as they will be asked to provide additional rebates to the Commonwealth or risk being removed from the managed care PDL. Some of this cost may arguably be offset by the benefit of being on the managed care PDL. Being on the managed care PDL in addition to the fee-for-service PDL may be seen as another opportunity for the drug manufacturers to promote their product, much like having additional shelf space in a store.

Finally, when a change must be made in a managed care recipient's prescription due to implementation of a new PDL, there may be other effects such as the quality and continuance of care, patient compliance with the new regimen, physician and patient satisfaction, and the utilization of other health care services, etc. The likely effects of such changes will largely depend on how the resulting managed care PDL will compare to the existing fee-for-service PDL managed care recipients currently have access to. For example, if all manufacturers participate, and their drugs are listed in the managed care PDL, then patients would not experience any disruption in their care or loss of access to any specific drugs. If, however, some drugs listed on the fee-for-service PDL are not listed on the managed care PDL then there may be some unintended disruptions or loss of access.

Businesses and Entities Affected. There are 35-40 pharmaceutical manufacturers and approximately 935,000 members enrolled in managed care.

Localities Particularly Affected. The proposed changes do not disproportionately affect any locality more than others.

Projected Impact on Employment. No significant impact on employment is expected.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. The amount of supplemental rebates that may be collected from an affected manufacturer is unlikely to be significant relative to its asset value. Thus, no significant impact on the use and value of private property is expected.

Real Estate Development Costs. No impact on real estate development costs is expected.

Small Businesses:

Definition. Pursuant to § 2.2-4007.04 of the Code of Virginia, small business is defined as "a business entity, including its affiliates, that (i) is independently owned and operated and (ii) employs fewer than 500 full-time employees or has gross annual sales of less than $6 million."

Costs and Other Effects. None of the affected pharmaceutical manufacturers is a small business. Thus, the proposed regulation does not impose any costs or other effects on small businesses.

Alternative Method that Minimizes Adverse Impact. There is no adverse impact on small businesses.

Adverse Impacts: 

Businesses. The proposed regulation allows DMAS to collect an estimated $5-6 million in additional rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Localities. The proposed regulation does not adversely affect localities.

Other Entities. The proposed regulation does not adversely affect other entities.


1This estimate is very preliminary. DMAS will not have sufficient data to determine the annual collection of supplemental rebates for drugs dispensed to Medicaid members in managed care until October 2018.

2Currently, the federal fee-for-service rebate collections amount to approximately $20 million per quarter and the supplemental rebate collections amount to $700,000 per quarter. The federal managed care rebate collections have been approximately $80 million per quarter.

Agency's Response to Economic Impact Analysis: The agency has reviewed the economic impact analysis prepared by the Department of Planning and Budget and raises no issues with this analysis.


The amendment clarifies that, because the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has the authority to seek supplemental rebate payments from pharmaceutical manufacturers under the State Plan for Medical Assistance, DMAS may collect rebates for Medicaid member use through managed care organizations in the same manner rebates are collected for Medicaid member use through fee-for-service.

12VAC30-50-210. Prescribed drugs, dentures, and prosthetic devices;, and eyeglasses prescribed by a physician skilled in diseases of the eye or by an optometrist.

A. Prescribed drugs.

1. Drugs for which Federal Financial Participation is not available, pursuant to the requirements of § 1927 of the Social Security Act (OBRA 90 § 4401), shall not be covered.

2. Nonlegend drugs shall be covered by Medicaid in the following situations:

a. Insulin, syringes, and needles for diabetic patients;

b. Diabetic test strips for Medicaid recipients under younger than 21 years of age;

c. Family planning supplies;

d. Designated categories of nonlegend drugs for Medicaid recipients in nursing homes; and

e. Designated drugs prescribed by a licensed prescriber to be used as less expensive therapeutic alternatives to covered legend drugs; and

f. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or p-Menthane-3,8-diol for all Medicaid members of reproductive age (ages 14 through 44 years) and all pregnant women, when prescribed by an authorized health professional.

3. Legend drugs are covered for a maximum of a 34-day supply per prescription per patient with the exception of the drugs or classes of drugs identified in 12VAC30-50-520. FDA-approved drug therapies and agents for weight loss, when preauthorized, will be covered for recipients who meet the strict disability standards for obesity established by the Social Security Administration in effect on April 7, 1999, and whose condition is certified as life threatening, consistent with Department of Medical Assistance Services' medical necessity requirements, by the treating physician. For prescription orders for which quantity exceeds a 34-day supply, refills may be dispensed in sufficient quantity to fulfill the prescription order within the limits of federal and state laws and regulations.

4. Prescriptions for Medicaid recipients for multiple source drugs subject to 42 CFR 447.332 shall be filled with generic drug products unless the physician or other practitioners so licensed and certified to prescribe drugs certifies in his own handwriting "brand necessary" for the prescription to be dispensed as written or unless the drug class is subject to the Preferred Drug List preferred drug list.

5. New drugs shall be covered in accordance with the Social Security Act § 1927(d) (OBRA 90 § 4401).

6. The number of refills shall be limited pursuant to § 54.1-3411 of the Drug Control Act.

7. Drug prior authorization.

a. Definitions. The following words and terms used in these regulations this section shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Clinical data" means drug monographs as well as any pertinent clinical studies, including peer review literature.

"Complex drug regimen" means treatment or course of therapy that typically includes multiple medications, co-morbidities and/or, or caregivers.

"Department" or "DMAS" means the Department of Medical Assistance Services.

"Drug" shall have the same meaning, unless the context otherwise dictates or the board otherwise provides by regulation, as provided in the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

"Emergency supply" means 72-hour supplies of the prescribed medication that may be dispensed if the prescriber cannot readily obtain authorization, or if the physician is not available to consult with the pharmacist, including after hours, weekends, and holidays and the pharmacist, in his professional judgment consistent with current standards of practice, feels that the patient's health would be compromised without the benefit of the drug, or other criteria defined by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and DMAS.

"Nonpreferred drugs" means those drugs that were reviewed by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and not included on the preferred drug list. Nonpreferred drugs may be prescribed but require authorization prior to dispensing to the patient.

"Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee," "P&T Committee" or "committee" means the committee formulated to review therapeutic classes, conduct clinical reviews of specific drugs, recommend additions or deletions to the preferred drug list, and perform other functions as required by the department.

"Preferred drug list" or "PDL" means the list of drugs that meet the safety, clinical efficacy, and pricing standards employed by the P&T Committee and adopted by the department for the Virginia Medicaid fee-for-service program. Most drugs on the PDL may be prescribed and dispensed in the Virginia Medicaid fee-for-service program without prior authorization; however, some drugs as recommended by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee may require authorization prior to dispensing to the patient.

"Prior authorization," as it relates to the PDL, means the process of review by a clinical pharmacist of legend drugs that are not on the preferred drug list, or other drugs as recommended by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, to determine if medically justified.

"State supplemental rebate" means any cash rebate that offsets Virginia Medicaid expenditure and that supplements the federal rebate. State supplemental rebate amounts shall be calculated in accordance with the Virginia Supplemental Drug Rebate Agreement Contract and Addenda.

"Therapeutic class" means a grouping of medications sharing the same Specific Therapeutic Class Code (GC3) within the Federal Drug Data File published by First Data Bank, Inc.

"Utilization review" means the prospective and retrospective processes employed by the agency to evaluate the medical necessity of reimbursing for certain covered services.

b. Medicaid Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee.

(1) The department shall utilize a Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee to assist in the development and ongoing administration of the preferred drug list and other pharmacy program issues. The committee may adopt bylaws that set out its make-up and functioning. A quorum for action of the committee shall consist of seven members.

(2) Vacancies on the committee shall be filled in the same manner as original appointments. DMAS shall appoint individuals for the committee that assures a cross-section of the physician and pharmacy community and remains compliant with General Assembly membership guidelines.

(3) Duties of the committee. The committee shall receive and review clinical and pricing data related to the drug classes. The committee's medical and pharmacy experts shall make recommendations to DMAS regarding various aspects of the pharmacy program. For the preferred drug list program, the committee shall select those drugs to be deemed preferred that are safe, clinically effective, as supported by available clinical data, and meet pricing standards. Cost effectiveness or any pricing standard shall be considered only after a drug is determined to be safe and clinically effective.

(4) As the United States U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves new drug products, the department shall ensure that the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee will evaluate the drug for clinical effectiveness and safety. Based on clinical information and pricing standards, the P&T Committee will determine if the drug will be included in the PDL or require prior authorization.

(a) If the new drug product falls within a drug class previously reviewed by the P&T Committee, until the review of the new drug is completed, it will be classified as nonpreferred, requiring prior authorization in order to be dispensed. The new drug will be evaluated for inclusion in the PDL no later than at the next review of the drug class.

(b) If the new drug product does not fall within a drug class previously reviewed by the P&T Committee, the new drug shall be treated in the same manner as the other drugs in its class.

(5) To the extent feasible, the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee shall review all drug classes included in the preferred drug list at least every 12 months and may recommend additions to and deletions from the PDL.

(6) In formulating its recommendations to the department, the committee shall not be deemed to be formulating regulations for the purposes of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

(7) Immunity. The members of the committee and, the staff of the department, and the contractor shall be immune, individually and jointly, from civil liability for any act, decision, or omission done or made in performance of their duties pursuant to this subsection while serving as a member of such board, committee, or staff provided that such act, decision, or omission is not done or made in bad faith or with malicious intent.

c. Pharmacy prior authorization program. Pursuant to § 1927 of the Act and 42 CFR 440.230, the department shall require the prior authorization of certain specified legend drugs. For those therapeutic classes of drugs subject to the PDL program, drugs with nonpreferred status included in the DMAS drug list shall be subject to prior authorization. The department also may require prior authorization of other drugs only if recommended by the P&T Committee. Providers who are licensed to prescribe legend drugs shall be required to obtain prior authorization for all nonpreferred drugs or other drugs as recommended by the P&T Committee.

(1) Prior authorization shall consist of prescription review by a licensed pharmacist or pharmacy technician to ensure that all predetermined clinically appropriate criteria, as established by the P&T Committee relative to each therapeutic class, have been met before the prescription may be dispensed. Prior authorization shall be obtained through a call center staffed with appropriate clinicians, or through written or electronic communications (e.g., faxes, mail). Responses by telephone or other telecommunications device within 24 hours of a request for prior authorization shall be provided. The dispensing of 72-hour emergency supplies of the prescribed drug may be permitted and dispensing fees shall be paid to the pharmacy for such emergency supply.

(2) The preferred drug list program shall include: (i) provisions for an expedited review process of denials of requested prior authorization by the department; (ii) consumer and provider education; and (iii) training and information regarding the preferred drug list both prior to implementation as well as ongoing communications, to include computer and website access to information and multilingual material.

(3) Exclusion of protected groups from the pharmacy preferred drug list prior authorization requirements. The following groups of Medicaid eligibles shall be excluded from pharmacy prior authorization requirements: individuals enrolled in hospice care, services through PACE or pre-PACE programs; persons having comprehensive third party insurance coverage; minor children who are the responsibility of the juvenile justice system; and refugees who are not otherwise eligible in a Medicaid covered group.

d. State supplemental rebates. The department has the authority to seek supplemental rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers. In addition to collecting supplemental rebates for fee-for-service claims, the department may, at its option, also collect supplemental rebates for Medicaid member utilization through MCOs. The contract regarding supplemental rebates shall exist between the manufacturer and the Commonwealth. Rebate agreements between the Commonwealth and a pharmaceutical manufacturer shall be separate from the federal rebates and in compliance with federal law, §§ 1927(a)(1) and 1927(a)(4) of the Social Security Act. All rebates collected on behalf of the Commonwealth shall be collected for the sole benefit of the state share of costs. One hundred percent of the supplemental rebates collected on behalf of the state shall be remitted to the state. Supplemental drug rebates received by the Commonwealth in excess of those required under the national drug rebate agreement will be shared with the federal government on the same percentage basis as applied under the national drug rebate agreement.

e. Pursuant to 42 USC § 1396r-8(b)(3)(D), information disclosed to the department or to the committee by a pharmaceutical manufacturer or wholesaler which discloses the identity of a specific manufacturer or wholesaler and the pricing information regarding the drugs by such manufacturer or wholesaler is confidential and shall not be subject to the disclosure requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

f. Appeals for denials of prior authorization shall be addressed pursuant to 12VAC30-110, Part I, Client Appeals.

8. Coverage of home infusion therapy. This service shall be covered consistent with the limits and requirements set out within home health services (12VAC30-50-160). Multiple applications of the same therapy (e.g., two antibiotics on the same day) shall be covered under one service day rate of reimbursement. Multiple applications of different therapies (e.g., chemotherapy, hydration, and pain management on the same day) shall be a full service day rate methodology as provided in pharmacy services reimbursement.

B. Dentures. Dentures are provided only as a result of EPSDT and subject to medical necessity and preauthorization requirements specified under Dental Services.

C. Prosthetic devices.

1. Prosthetic services shall mean the replacement of missing arms, legs, eyes, and breasts and the provision of any internal (implant) body part. Nothing in this regulation shall be construed to refer to orthotic services or devices or organ transplantation services.

2. Artificial arms and legs, and their necessary supportive attachments, implants and breasts are provided when prescribed by a physician or other licensed practitioner of the healing arts within the scope of their professional licenses as defined by state law. This service, when provided by an authorized vendor, must be medically necessary and preauthorized for the minimum applicable component necessary for the activities of daily living.

3. Eye prostheses are provided when eyeballs are missing regardless of the age of the recipient or the cause of the loss of the eyeball. Eye prostheses are provided regardless of the function of the eye.

D. Eyeglasses. Eyeglasses shall be reimbursed for all recipients younger than 21 years of age according to medical necessity when provided by practitioners as licensed under the Code of Virginia.

VA.R. Doc. No. R19-5345; Filed January 7, 2019, 8:49 a.m.