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Pharmacy CEO pleads guilty to $50M reimbursement fraud

Central Rexall Drugs was paid more than $50 million in reimbursements from pharmacy benefits managers from 2015 to 2016, according to Mr. Carpenito. He also said Ms. Taff, who will be sentenced Dec. 1, received more than $1.5 million from the scheme.

Recruiters told the patients which medications to get based on how much reimbursement the pharmacy would receive from insurance companies for the drugs, not because the patients needed them, Mr. Carpenito said. The drugs covered within these New Jersey workers’ insurance plans included expensive pain, antifungal, scar and libido medications with reimbursements that often ran as high as thousands of dollars per month, WNBC reported.

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Tyrone’s Commentary:

The PBMs were likely involved with uncovering the fraud still it should not have gone this far but why? Many if not most of those reimbursed drugs should have been excluded from the formulary in the first place. Shame on the PBMs for pushing these claims through by rubberstamping prior authorizations and plan sponsors for signing off on what is more than likely an open or some sort of hybrid formulary which allowed those claims to be adjudicated. You can’t “keep employees happy” to the extent you run an inefficient pharmacy benefit program. It doesn’t matter how much money you have to throw at a pharmacy expenses. If it isn’t managed cost-effectively it is a failure. All PBMs are not created equally. My PBM, TransparentRx, scrutinizes every single claim at the same time maintaining CFO satisfaction scores hovering around 90%. For those who believe PBMs are an unneccessary expensive, you get a birds-eye view of a future without us.

Hayley Taff, CEO of Hammond, La.-based pharmacy Central Rexall Drugs, pleaded guilty Aug. 12 to playing a key role in a scheme that garnered more than $50 million in false reimbursements. Ms. Taff and her co-conspirators recruited public employees in New Jersey to get pricey specialty prescriptions they had not been prescribed, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito of the District of New Jersey. 

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Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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