Calls From Harlem United And More For DOH To Repeal Medicaid Drug Carve Out Intensify

Opposition continues to grow over the Department of Health’s Medicaid drug carve-out plan as more community health groups join the Save New York’s Safety Net coalition.

The coalition is demanding that Albany reverse the drug carve-out and resulting changes to the 340B drug discount program that will decimate essential services for medically underserved and low-income New Yorkers who have been impacted the most by the pandemic.

The state’s plan to carve-out Medicaid prescription drugs will devastate 340B drug discount program providers. The 340B program allows safety net providers to purchase deeply discounted drugs and use the savings to provide essential services from housing aid to food assistance for low-income New Yorkers. Albany’s plan is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2021 and will cause widespread and disastrous consequences statewide.

The state’s plan to carve-out Medicaid prescription drugs will devastate 340B drug discount program providers. The 340B program allows safety net providers to purchase deeply discounted drugs and use the savings to provide essential services from housing aid to food assistance for low-income New Yorkers. Albany’s plan is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2021 and will cause widespread and disastrous consequences statewide.



“Our state has a responsibility to ensure that healthcare providers have the necessary resources to serve vulnerable New Yorkers, particularly LGBTQ and low-income people who need and depend on essential, lifesaving health services. We oppose the Medicaid pharmacy benefit ‘carve-out’ plan, because it would have devastating and long-lasting effects on those who need care the most,” said Shijuade Kadree, Esq/MPH, Chief Advocacy Officer of The LGBT Community Center.

“This will have a devastating impact on our patients as they try to achieve recovery. Tearing a hole in this healthcare safety net would be a bad idea at any time, but it is certainly ill-advised in the midst of a worsening COVID pandemic.”

“Many residential programs treating substance use disorder rely on integrated health care services provided by FQHCs. If the 340B program is decimated, these FQHCs will no longer be able to provide these services, particularly to the uninsured,” said Debra Pantin, President of Therapeutic Communities Association of New York. “This will have a devastating impact on our patients as they try to achieve recovery. Tearing a hole in this healthcare safety net would be a bad idea at any time, but it is certainly ill-advised in the midst of a worsening COVID pandemic.”

“It’s essential to maintain the safety net for our state’s most vulnerable populations. The State’s budget changes to “carve-out” Medicaid prescription drugs will devastate the 340B drug discount program for the poorest New Yorkers in need of health services. It will impact communities and neighborhoods across New York already ravaged by COVID-19,” said Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS and Founder of the Hispanic Health Network. “It will create a setback on many of the progressive initiatives that New York has to end the current HIV epidemic. New York needs this support.”

“Many patients in outpatient treatment for substance use disorder count on FQHCs for their primary care needs. This is particularly true for the uninsured and underinsured. Without the resources of the 340B program it will be impossible for FQHCs to provide free care to this vulnerable population,” said Allegra Schorr, President of COMPA. “This will be an obstacle for people trying to achieve recovery and will exacerbate our current public health crisis.”

“Care For the Homeless (CFH) provides integrated primary and behavioral health care to 7,900 people experiencing homelessness in NYC and the 340B program is a vital tool in our portfolio of services,”

“Care For the Homeless (CFH) provides integrated primary and behavioral health care to 7,900 people experiencing homelessness in NYC and the 340B program is a vital tool in our portfolio of services,” said George Nashak, President and CEO of Care for the Homeless. “We utilize the program to provide critical medications for a large percentage of our clients who are uninsured and unstably housed. The program is essential in overcoming barriers to accessing effective care for those individuals with chronic conditions and no financial resources to pay for life-saving and health-improving medications.”

“Continuity of health care and substance use disorder treatment is critical for people needing treatment and seeking recovery. The 340B program enables people to get the full range of healthcare – including lifesaving medications – from our FQHC partners, even when they have no Medicaid or private health insurance,” said John Coppola, Executive Director of the Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP). “If 340B is not continued, the impact will be devastating for people seeking recovery from addictions.”

“Community Healthcare Network is a non-profit network of 14 federally-qualified health centers serving 85,000 patients annually throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. We provide high-quality, affordable primary care and specialty support services, regardless of patient ability to pay,”

“Community Healthcare Network is a non-profit network of 14 federally-qualified health centers serving 85,000 patients annually throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. We provide high-quality, affordable primary care and specialty support services, regardless of patient ability to pay,” said Robert Hayes, President & CEO of Community Healthcare Network. “The 340B carve-out threatens our most essential programs. The carve-out is reverse Robin Hood, taking efficient, life and health-preserving care from New Yorkers most in need.”

New coalition members include:

  • Drug Policy Alliance
  • The Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Providers of New York State
  • Ryan Health
  • Community Healthcare Network
  • Treatment Action Group
  • Sun River Health
  • TOUCH
  • Community Health Initiatives
  • Bridging Access to Care
  • Coalition of Medication-Assisted Treatment Providers and Advocates (COMPA)
  • The National Working Positive Coalition
  • New York Immigration Coalition
  • African Services Committee
  • Legal Action Center
  • Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC)
  • The Mental Health Association in New York State
  • Therapeutic Communities Association of New York (TCANY)
  • NYS Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
  • Latino Commission on AIDS
  • Hispanic Health Network
  • Finger Lakes Community Health
  • Communities Advocating Emergency AIDS Relief Coalition
  • The Institute for Family Health
  • EngageWell IPA
  • Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
  • The LGBT Community Center

These groups join previous coalition members:

  • Trillium
  • RWC-340B
  • iHealth
  • Housing Works
  • Harlem United
  • Evergreen Health Services
  • Damian Family Care Centers
  • CHCANYS
  • Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
  • Alliance for Positive Change
  • Albany Damien Center
  • AIDS Healthcare Foundation

This comes on the heels of widespread opposition to the changes, and widespread agreement on the horrendous effects that will result if the changes are not reversed.

So far:

  • Six hospital groups representing facilities across the state have written to the Department of Health saying, “If allowed to stand, this massive policy and operational shift will jeopardize the solvency of critical healthcare services and programs for vulnerable and low-income populations…”
  • Over 100 community-based healthcare and support groups have written to the Department of Health saying, “This new policy will provide little to no benefit to the state and will devastate patients and the safety net providers they rely on for care.”  Read it here.
  • A report by Menges Group found that the results of the change will have drastic effects on communities and will actually cost the state over a $1 billion over the next 5 years.

For more information on the coalition and the campaign, visit www.savenysafetynet.com.

Save New York’s Safety Net: 340B Saves Lives is a statewide coalition of community health clinics and community-based organizations that is committed to serving vulnerable New Yorkers across the state, ending the epidemic, and saving the 340B drug discount program.

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