Regulators will create a task force to see if buying prescriptions in bulk could save the state a lot of money. Imagine if Iowa’s nursing homes fed all their clients MRE’s instead of cafeteria meals. There wouldn’t be any economy in single-serving foods, and there’s a high cost to the most foolproof way of dispensing their “meds,” in unit-dosage packs like the cold pills you pop out of a card one by one. Even the “bulk” prescription that puts 30 pills in your bottle for the pharmacy is against the policy of the state’s longterm care facilities. That’s a problem for health insurance companies, who won’t pay the prescription drug benefits their clients are entitled to. Nursing homes say if they change to another method of giving longterm residents their daily prescription drugs, they’ll have to hire more staff to count pills and keep them under lock and key…but the prescription drugs can be more economically purchased in 30- and even 120-day stocks, the way V-A hospitals do, and with the state looking to save wherever it can, the Department of Inspections and Appeals will gather a study group to tackle the topic of resident medications.
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