Montgomery County Hospital District's pharmacy costs save taxpayers dollars


by Stefanie Thomas

Source: The Observer

CONROE -- The Montgomery County Hospital District’s pharmacy costs for 2012 decreased 21 percent, greatly beating the national average and saving Montgomery County taxpayers nearly $100,000.

“Nationally, pharmacy spending increases annually, but our pharmacy costs bucked the trend,” said Penny Wilson, director of healthcare services. “The credit goes directly to our pharmacy staff members who work closely with our clients and pharmacies to ensure we get the most bang for the taxpayers’ dollars. We proudly run the most efficient and effective indigent pharmacy benefit program in the state.”

Clients enrolled in the District’s Health Care Assistance Program (HCAP) are provided up to three prescriptions each month as part of the program benefits. Currently, there are 823 clients enrolled in the HCAP program.

“One key factor is making the most of generics. The generic utilization rate for our clients, on average, is 95 percent. As a whole, the nation’s rate of usage of generics averages at 78 percent, and Medicaid’s average is 68 percent according to a May 2012 report from the National Center for Policy Analysis,” said Wilson.

MCHD’s average cost per generic is $7.79, compared with the average cost for brand being $138. Medicaid’s average generic cost is $20, and its brand average cost is $201. Per month, client prescription costs is $29 per HCAP member, compared with Texas Medicaid’s per member cost of $64.

Under the HCAP program, the District provides certain healthcare services to eligible, low income residents of Montgomery County who have no other public or private health care benefits. MCHD does not own or operate a hospital, but contracts for services with local physicians, hospitals and other providers.

For information on eligibility criteria and details of the program, visit www.mchd-tx.org and select the “Healthcare Assistance Services” tab.