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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 27, 2017 03:25 PM
From: Representative Frank A. Farry and Rep. Steve Samuelson
To: All House members
Subject: PACENET Income Limit Increase - (Former HB 2069)
The General Assembly has long debated increasing the income limits to expand the PACE program. Current maximum income requirements for the PACE program are $14,500 for a single individual and $17,700 for a married couple. For PACENET, the maximum income requirements are $23,500 for a single individual and $31,500 for a married couple. The income limits have not been increased since 2004. Our legislation would increase the maximum income limits in the PACENET program from $23,500 to $31,000 for a single person and from $31,500 to $41,000 for a married couple. This much-needed legislation would allow for an additional 32,000 enrollees into the PACE/PACENET program.

Additionally, this bill would allow the PACE program to evaluate two pharmacy-based programs: Medication Therapy Management (MTM) and Medication Synchronization. Under MTM, a patient’s pharmacist would work face-to-face with the patient to complete comprehensive medication review as well as consult with their various prescribers, carefully checking for duplicative medications and possible drug interactions. The pharmacist would also consult the patient to determine their adherence to their drug regimen and provide patient education aimed at improving their compliance. MTM is already offered under PART D, so allowing it in PACE would make it consistent for PACE patients, no matter the payor.

There is clear evidence that MTM improves health and brings down program costs. The MTM program in Ohio Medicaid saw a $2.17 return on investment for every $1 spent in its second year. Medication Synchronization would allow pharmacists to review multiple patient prescriptions and dispense partial refills with a goal of synching up all their monthly prescriptions so they can be picked up once a month. Not only will this improve seniors’ medication adherence, it would also save them multiple trips to the pharmacy.

Finally, the Department of Aging has a Pharmaceutical Assistance Review Board being changed to an advisory board. Our legislation will reinvigorate the board, make additional changes to the membership and enhance their current advisory capacity.

The pharmacy reimbursement changes to the PACE program authorized by Act 169 of 2016 will help fund this expansion. Our offices can provide you with the number of residents in your district currently enrolled in the PACE/PACENET program as well as the residents that will benefit from this legislation. We hope you will join us in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB270