Prompt Payment For Pharmacies

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) "This was the first chance that we got to actually implement, or put into the law something that gives pharmacists and especially independent pharmacies a fair deal. The opportunity to compete on an equal basis," said Congressman Marion Berry.

It was an idea that congressman Marion berry says came from his mind and his heart.

Marion Berry along with more than 2/3rd's of the house and senate voted the medicare improvements bill into law last week.

Part of the bill will help pharmacists get reimbursed quicker from insurance companies.

"Probably 85 to 90 percent of the people that walk through the door have some kind of insurance card," said Pharmacist, Ken Gibson.

Pharmacist Ken Gibson is all too familiar with the struggles some pharmacies deal with.

He's faced those same hurdles.

"When Medicare Part D first initiated it was upwards of 6 to 8 weeks some even longer, but when we have to pay our wholesalers for the medications that we re-stock our shelves with every 15 days....", says Gibson.

Gibson fills numerous prescriptions each day.

He says their monthly bills were in excess of 400 thousand dollars at times.

"We had a lot of belt tightening. Medication that we couldn't afford, that we just had to wait and order it after the patient had paid me," said Gibson.

Gibson, like so many others, is hopeful this will provide some relief to pharmacies working hard to provide medication that is desperately needed.