48.200.270  <<  48.200.280 >>   48.200.290

Predetermination of reimbursement costsAppealsReview by commissioner. (Effective January 1, 2022.)

(1) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(a) "List" means the list of drugs for which predetermined reimbursement costs have been established, such as a maximum allowable cost or maximum allowable cost list or any other benchmark prices utilized by the pharmacy benefit manager and must include the basis of the methodology and sources utilized to determine multisource generic drug reimbursement amounts.
(b) "Multiple source drug" means a therapeutically equivalent drug that is available from at least two manufacturers.
(c) "Multisource generic drug" means any covered outpatient prescription drug for which there is at least one other drug product that is rated as therapeutically equivalent under the food and drug administration's most recent publication of "Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations;" is pharmaceutically equivalent or bioequivalent, as determined by the food and drug administration; and is sold or marketed in the state during the period.
(d) "Network pharmacy" means a retail drug outlet licensed as a pharmacy under RCW 18.64.043 that contracts with a pharmacy benefit manager.
(e) "Therapeutically equivalent" has the same meaning as in RCW 69.41.110.
(2) A pharmacy benefit manager:
(a) May not place a drug on a list unless there are at least two therapeutically equivalent multiple source drugs, or at least one generic drug available from only one manufacturer, generally available for purchase by network pharmacies from national or regional wholesalers;
(b) Shall ensure that all drugs on a list are readily available for purchase by pharmacies in this state from national or regional wholesalers that serve pharmacies in Washington;
(c) Shall ensure that all drugs on a list are not obsolete;
(d) Shall make available to each network pharmacy at the beginning of the term of a contract, and upon renewal of a contract, the sources utilized to determine the predetermined reimbursement costs for multisource generic drugs of the pharmacy benefit manager;
(e) Shall make a list available to a network pharmacy upon request in a format that is readily accessible to and usable by the network pharmacy;
(f) Shall update each list maintained by the pharmacy benefit manager every seven business days and make the updated lists, including all changes in the price of drugs, available to network pharmacies in a readily accessible and usable format;
(g) Shall ensure that dispensing fees are not included in the calculation of the predetermined reimbursement costs for multisource generic drugs;
(h) May not cause or knowingly permit the use of any advertisement, promotion, solicitation, representation, proposal, or offer that is untrue, deceptive, or misleading;
(i) May not charge a pharmacy a fee related to the adjudication of a claim, credentialing, participation, certification, accreditation, or enrollment in a network including, but not limited to, a fee for the receipt and processing of a pharmacy claim, for the development or management of claims processing services in a pharmacy benefit manager network, or for participating in a pharmacy benefit manager network;
(j) May not require accreditation standards inconsistent with or more stringent than accreditation standards established by a national accreditation organization;
(k) May not reimburse a pharmacy in the state an amount less than the amount the pharmacy benefit manager reimburses an affiliate for providing the same pharmacy services; and
(l) May not directly or indirectly retroactively deny or reduce a claim or aggregate of claims after the claim or aggregate of claims has been adjudicated, unless:
(i) The original claim was submitted fraudulently; or
(ii) The denial or reduction is the result of a pharmacy audit conducted in accordance with RCW 48.200.220.
(3) A pharmacy benefit manager must establish a process by which a network pharmacy may appeal its reimbursement for a drug subject to predetermined reimbursement costs for multisource generic drugs. A network pharmacy may appeal a predetermined reimbursement cost for a multisource generic drug if the reimbursement for the drug is less than the net amount that the network pharmacy paid to the supplier of the drug. An appeal requested under this section must be completed within thirty calendar days of the pharmacy submitting the appeal. If after thirty days the network pharmacy has not received the decision on the appeal from the pharmacy benefit manager, then the appeal is considered denied.
The pharmacy benefit manager shall uphold the appeal of a pharmacy with fewer than fifteen retail outlets, within the state of Washington, under its corporate umbrella if the pharmacy or pharmacist can demonstrate that it is unable to purchase a therapeutically equivalent interchangeable product from a supplier doing business in Washington at the pharmacy benefit manager's list price.
(4) A pharmacy benefit manager must provide as part of the appeals process established under subsection (3) of this section:
(a) A telephone number at which a network pharmacy may contact the pharmacy benefit manager and speak with an individual who is responsible for processing appeals; and
(b) If the appeal is denied, the reason for the denial and the national drug code of a drug that has been purchased by other network pharmacies located in Washington at a price that is equal to or less than the predetermined reimbursement cost for the multisource generic drug. A pharmacy with fifteen or more retail outlets, within the state of Washington, under its corporate umbrella may submit information to the commissioner about an appeal under subsection (3) of this section for purposes of information collection and analysis.
(5)(a) If an appeal is upheld under this section, the pharmacy benefit manager shall make a reasonable adjustment on a date no later than one day after the date of determination.
(b) If the request for an adjustment has come from a critical access pharmacy, as defined by the state health care authority by rule for purposes related to the prescription drug purchasing consortium established under RCW 70.14.060, the adjustment approved under (a) of this subsection shall apply only to critical access pharmacies.
(6) Beginning July 1, 2017, if a network pharmacy appeal to the pharmacy benefit manager is denied, or if the network pharmacy is unsatisfied with the outcome of the appeal, the pharmacy or pharmacist may dispute the decision and request review by the commissioner within thirty calendar days of receiving the decision.
(a) All relevant information from the parties may be presented to the commissioner, and the commissioner may enter an order directing the pharmacy benefit manager to make an adjustment to the disputed claim, deny the pharmacy appeal, or take other actions deemed fair and equitable. An appeal requested under this section must be completed within thirty calendar days of the request.
(b) Upon resolution of the dispute, the commissioner shall provide a copy of the decision to both parties within seven calendar days.
(c) The commissioner may authorize the office of administrative hearings, as provided in chapter 34.12 RCW, to conduct appeals under this subsection (6).
(d) A pharmacy benefit manager may not retaliate against a pharmacy for pursuing an appeal under this subsection (6).
(e) This subsection (6) applies only to a pharmacy with fewer than fifteen retail outlets, within the state of Washington, under its corporate umbrella.
(7) This section does not apply to the state medical assistance program.
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