Vol. 27 Iss. 5 - November 08, 2010

Chapter 80
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The Department of Medical Assistance Services is claiming an exemption from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4006 A 4 a of the Code of Virginia, which excludes regulations that are necessary to conform to changes in Virginia statutory law where no agency discretion is involved. The Department of Medical Assistance Services will receive, consider, and respond to petitions from any interested person at any time with respect to reconsideration or revision.

Title of Regulation: 12VAC30-80. Methods and Standards for Establishing Payment Rates; Other Types of Care (amending 12VAC30-80-40).

Statutory Authority: §§ 32.1-324 and 32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: December 8, 2010.

Agency Contact: Brian McCormick, Regulatory Supervisor, Department of Medical Assistance Services, 600 East Broad Street, Suite 1300, Richmond, VA 23219, telephone (804) 371-8856, FAX (804) 786-1680, or email


This regulatory action amends 12VAC30-80-40 for the estimated acquisition cost payment methodology for Medicaid fee-for-service pharmacy services from average wholesale price (AWP) minus 13.1% to the previous rate of AWP minus 10.25%. This modification is required to comply with Item 297 SSS of the 2010 Appropriation Act, which requires DMAS to amend the State Plan for Medical Assistance to reinstate the maximum reimbursement for pharmaceutical products dependent upon the availability of enhanced federal match dollars provided for in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA - P.L. 111-5). The increased federal match percentage has been provided to the Commonwealth through June 30, 2011. Therefore, effective October 1, 2010, Virginia will reverse the budget reduction that was implemented July 1, 2010, and revert to the previous methodology of AWP minus 10.25%.

12VAC30-80-40. Fee-for-service providers: pharmacy.

Payment for pharmacy services shall be the lowest of items 1 through 5 (except that items 1 and 2 will not apply when prescriptions are certified as brand necessary by the prescribing physician in accordance with the procedures set forth in 42 CFR 447.512(c) if the brand cost is greater than the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) upper limit of VMAC cost) subject to the conditions, where applicable, set forth in subdivisions 6 and 7 of this section:

1. The upper limit established by the CMS for multiple source drugs pursuant to 42 CFR 447.512 and 447.514, as determined by the CMS Upper Limit List plus a dispensing fee. If the agency provides payment for any drugs on the HCFA Upper Limit List, the payment shall be subject to the aggregate upper limit payment test.

2. The methodology used to reimburse for generic drug products shall be the higher of either (i) the lowest Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) plus 10% or (ii) the second lowest WAC plus 6.0%. This methodology shall reimburse for products' costs based on a Maximum Allowable Cost (VMAC) list to be established by the single state agency.

a. In developing the maximum allowable reimbursement rate for generic pharmaceuticals, the department or its designated contractor shall:

(1) Identify three different suppliers, including manufacturers that are able to supply pharmaceutical products in sufficient quantities. The drugs considered must be listed as therapeutically and pharmaceutically equivalent in the Food and Drug Administration's most recent version of the Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (Orange Book). Pharmaceutical products that are not available from three different suppliers, including manufacturers, shall not be subject to the VMAC list.

(2) Identify that the use of a VMAC rate is lower than the Federal Upper Limit (FUL) for the drug. The FUL is a known, widely published price provided by CMS; and

(3) Distribute the list of state VMAC rates to pharmacy providers in a timely manner prior to the implementation of VMAC rates and subsequent modifications. DMAS shall publish on its website, each month, the information used to set the Commonwealth's prospective VMAC rates, including, but not necessarily limited to:

(a) The identity of applicable reference products used to set the VMAC rates;

(b) The Generic Code Number (GCN) or National Drug Code (NDC), as may be appropriate, of reference products;

(c) The difference by which the VMAC rate exceeds the appropriate WAC price; and

(d) The identity and date of the published compendia used to determine reference products and set the VMAC rate. The difference by which the VMAC rate exceeds the appropriate WAC price shall be at least or equal to 10% above the lowest-published wholesale acquisition cost for products widely available for purchase in the Commonwealth and shall be included in national pricing compendia.

b. Development of a VMAC rate that does not have a FUL rate shall not result in the use of higher-cost innovator brand name or single source drugs in the Medicaid program.

c. DMAS or its designated contractor shall:

(1) Implement and maintain a procedure to add or eliminate products from the list, or modify VMAC rates, consistent with changes in the fluctuating marketplace. DMAS or its designated contractor will regularly review manufacturers' pricing and monitor drug availability in the marketplace to determine the inclusion or exclusion of drugs on the VMAC list; and

(2) Provide a pricing dispute resolution procedure to allow a dispensing provider to contest a listed VMAC rate. DMAS or its designated contractor shall confirm receipt of pricing disputes within 24 hours, via telephone or facsimile, with the appropriate documentation of relevant information, e.g., invoices. Disputes shall be resolved within three business days of confirmation. The pricing dispute resolution process will include DMAS' or the contractor's verification of accurate pricing to ensure consistency with marketplace pricing and drug availability. Providers will be reimbursed, as appropriate, based on findings. Providers shall be required to use this dispute resolution process prior to exercising any applicable appeal rights.

3. The provider's usual and customary charge to the public, as identified by the claim charge.

4. The Estimated Acquisition Cost (EAC), which shall be based on the published Average Wholesale Price (AWP) minus a percentage discount established by the General Assembly (as set forth in subdivision 8 of this section) or, in the absence thereof, by the following methodology set out in subdivisions a through c of this subdivision.

a. Percentage discount shall be determined by a statewide survey of providers' acquisition cost.

b. The survey shall reflect statistical analysis of actual provider purchase invoices.

c. The agency will conduct surveys at intervals deemed necessary by DMAS.

5. MAC methodology for specialty drugs. Payment for drug products designated by DMAS as specialty drugs shall be the lesser of subdivisions 1 through 4 of this section or the following method, whichever is least:

a. The methodology used to reimburse for designated specialty drug products shall be the WAC price plus the WAC percentage. The WAC percentage is a constant percentage identified each year for all GCNs.

b. Designated specialty drug products are certain products used to treat chronic, high-cost, or rare diseases; the drugs subject to this pricing methodology and their current reimbursement rates are listed on the DMAS website at the following internet address:

c. The MAC reimbursement methodology for specialty drugs shall be subject to the pricing review and dispute resolution procedures described in subdivisions 2 c (1) and 2 c (2) of this section.

6. Payment for pharmacy services will be as described above; however, payment for legend drugs will include the allowed cost of the drug plus only one dispensing fee per month for each specific drug. Exceptions to the monthly dispensing fees shall be allowed for drugs determined by the department to have unique dispensing requirements. The dispensing fee for brand name and generic drugs is $3.75.

7. The Program pays additional reimbursement for unit dose dispensing systems of dispensing drugs. DMAS defines its unit dose dispensing system coverage consistent with that of the Board of Pharmacy of the Department of Health Professions (18VAC110-20-420). This service is paid only for patients residing in nursing facilities. Reimbursements are based on the allowed payments described above plus the unit dose per capita fee to be calculated by DMAS' fiscal agent based on monthly per nursing home resident service per pharmacy provider. Only one service fee per month may be paid to the pharmacy for each patient receiving unit dose dispensing services. Multisource drugs will be reimbursed at the maximum allowed drug cost for specific multiple source drugs as identified by the state agency or CMS' upper limits as applicable. All other drugs will be reimbursed at drug costs not to exceed the estimated acquisition cost determined by the state agency. The original per capita fee shall be determined by a DMAS analysis of costs related to such dispensing, and shall be reevaluated at periodic intervals for appropriate adjustment. The unit dose dispensing fee is $5.00 per recipient per month per pharmacy provider.

8. An EAC of AWP minus 13.1% shall become effective July 1, 2010. However, if the increased federal medical assistance percentage under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (P.L. 111-5) is extended through June 30, 2011, as provided in Item 297 SSS of the 2010 Acts of Assembly, the reduction shall remain at AWP minus 10.25% , through September 30, 2010. An EAC of AWP minus 10.25% shall become effective October 1, 2010. The dispensing fee for brand name and generic drugs of $3.75 shall remain in effect, creating a payment methodology based on the previous algorithm (least of subdivisions of this section) plus a dispensing fee where applicable.

9. Home infusion therapy.

a. The following therapy categories shall have a pharmacy service day rate payment allowable: hydration therapy, chemotherapy, pain management therapy, drug therapy, total parenteral nutrition (TPN). The service day rate payment for the pharmacy component shall apply to the basic components and services intrinsic to the therapy category. Submission of claims for the per diem rate shall be accomplished by use of the CMS 1500 claim form.

b. The cost of the active ingredient or ingredients for chemotherapy, pain management and drug therapies shall be submitted as a separate claim through the pharmacy program, using standard pharmacy format. Payment for this component shall be consistent with the current reimbursement for pharmacy services. Multiple applications of the same therapy shall be reimbursed one service day rate for the pharmacy services. Multiple applications of different therapies shall be reimbursed at 100% of standard pharmacy reimbursement for each active ingredient.

10. Supplemental rebate agreement. Based on the requirements in § 1927 of the Social Security Act, the Commonwealth of Virginia has the following policies for the supplemental drug rebate program for Medicaid recipients:

a. The model supplemental rebate agreement between the Commonwealth and pharmaceutical manufacturers for legend drugs provided to Medicaid recipients, submitted to CMS on February 5, 2004, and entitled Virginia Supplemental Drug Rebate Agreement Contract A and Amendment #2 to Contract A has been authorized by CMS.

b. The model supplemental rebate agreement between the Commonwealth and pharmaceutical manufacturers for drugs provided to Medicaid recipients, submitted to CMS on February 5, 2004, and entitled Virginia Supplemental Drug Rebate Agreement Contract B and Amendment #2 to Contract B has been authorized by CMS.

c. The model supplemental rebate agreement between the Commonwealth and pharmaceutical manufacturers for drugs provided to Medicaid recipients, submitted to CMS on February 5, 2004, and entitled Virginia Supplemental Drug Rebate Agreement Contract C, and Amendments #1 and #2 to Contract C has been authorized by CMS.

d. Supplemental drug rebates received by the state 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. Prior authorization requirements found in § 1927(d)(5) of the Social Security Act have been met.

f. Nonpreferred drugs are those that were reviewed by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and not included on the preferred drug list. Nonpreferred drugs will be made available to Medicaid beneficiaries through prior authorization.

g. Payment of supplemental rebates may result in a product's inclusion on the PDL.

VA.R. Doc. No. R11-2605; Filed October 15, 2010, 3:25 p.m.