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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 21, 2017 10:38 AM
From: Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: PACENET Eligibility Expansion
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will expand the income limits of the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Program (PACE/PACENET), which serves over 300,000 Pennsylvanians a year between the two programs.[1] This expansion is funded by Act 169 of 2016, which made cost saving changes to the PACE program pharmacy reimbursement formula, freeing an estimated $23,602,00 for FY 2016-17.[2]

This legislation will 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 long overdue expansion will increase the number of eligible senior enrollees (estimated at 32,000), expanding access to prescription medications for individuals and families who otherwise would have had to choose between putting food on the table or filling their next prescription.[3]

In addition, this legislation takes into account a performance audit conducted by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, April 2016.[4] In doing so, this bill changes the Pharmaceutical Assistance Review Board to the Pharmaceutical Assistance Advisory Board (PAAB), changes membership requirements and enhances existing oversight abilities.

And lastly, in an effort to improve health and bring down program costs, this legislation would allow the PACE/PACENET program to evaluate the potential use of two pharmacy centered programs: Medication Synchronization and Medication Therapy Management (MTM). Medication Synchronization assists pharmacists in streamlining multiple monthly prescriptions for PACENET enrollees; giving patients the benefit of once-a-month pickups and improved medication adherence by as much as 250%.[5] Whereas, MTM gives patients 1-on-1 comprehensive medication review with their pharmacist, allowing consultation for their multiple prescribers so that a pharmacist can review potential drug interactions and duplicative medications. Such programs have shown to improve health and lower program costs, with research studies showing as high as a 12:1 return on investment.[6] Medicaid Part D beneficiaries already receive MTM coverage, therefore MTM under PACE would create consistency for patients, no matter the payer.

I hope that you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation that will assist thousands of additional seniors afford their vital prescriptions.

[2] See: House Committee on Appropriations Fiscal Note (HB 946, PN4111; Rep. Baker. 10/27/2016)

[3] Expansion figures estimated by PA Department of Aging (2016)


[5] www.ncpanet.org/medsync

[6] Isetts, et al. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. 2008: 48(2): 203-211. “Clinical and Economic Outcomes of Medication Therapy Management Services: The Minnesota Experience”.

Introduced as SB581