UPDATE: Kern Medical’s 2 outpatient pharmacies to stay open amid state delay in funding changes

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UPDATE (2/23): Kern Medical says the planned shutdown of its two outpatient retail pharmacies due to Medi-Cal funding changes has been temporarily halted.

The hospital said that last week, the state said it was delaying the start of the pharmacy reimbursement changes to give it time to evaluate the unexpected purchase of its pharmacy vendor by the Centene Corporation. The state is expected to provide further information to providers in May.

The two pharmacies were originally set to stop operation by the end of March. Kern Medical says it will now continue to operate the pharmacies until it receives further direction from the state.

(2/6): BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern Medical says it will have to shut down its two outpatient retail pharmacies due to funding changes. 

The hospital said its pharmacies depend on supplemental funding from government programs, as Medi-Cal reimbursement does not cover all its costs. Kern Medical said a new state executive order will significantly reduce the Medi-Cal reimbursements the pharmacies receive and will shift the benefit to the state. 

“Prior to this change in the state’s 340B pharmacy program, reimbursements allowed Kern Medical to operate these retail pharmacies with a positive margin,” the hospital said in a news release. “With this change, these two retail pharmacies could only operate at a $2.5 million loss, which is not sustainable by our overall organization.”   

The hospital said the pharmacies will shut down as of March 31, after which the executive order will go into effect and the reimbursements will end. 

Kern Medical said it currently employs a total of 28 people at the two outpatient pharmacies.  

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