Friday, September 23, 2016

Farewell to 2016's MDRP Summit

It’s Thursday night, the 2016 Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (MDRP) Summit has come to a close, and hopefully you are all safely at home and asleep in your beds – unless you took the opportunity to extend your stay in beautiful downtown Chicago, in which case I hope you have a wonderful stay! (If you are still at the lobby bar, my hat is off to you.)

It had been a few years since I’d attended the MDRP Summit, having spent some time broadening my healthcare compliance horizons, but this week felt like coming home. Throughout my consulting career I’ve witnessed many new analysts crash against the rocks of Government Pricing, only to request an immediate transfer as soon as their assignment on a GP project is complete. But once in a while you find the rare holdouts: the few, the proud, the GP geeks. My incomparable boss, Katie Lapins, tells the story of a former employer stopping by her desk to tell her she was going to have to do “something with Medicaid;” little did she know that it was the genesis of an illustrious GP career. Mine was the first time I took data files and a methodology grid, and tied my ASP calculation exactly to a client’s. Until that moment, I thought there were surely too many variables to expect to reach the same number independently. But then I did. I “found” ASP. To three decimal places. And that “ah ha” moment was all I needed – I was hooked.

To me, there is still no GP feeling better than tying out a parallel calculation; it feels like the ultimate assurance that you have done your job correctly. But even failing to tie out can be rewarding, because then you get to dig into your various data buckets, inclusions and exclusions, and formulas, and determine which model to adopt. On some level, that is what we do in Chicago every September. Although we all come in with the same statutes, regulations, and guidance, what we decide to do with them can feel profoundly different. Rival GP system providers vie for your business, consulting firms recommend their data analytics platforms, pundits make political predictions, and lawyers offer up (sometimes conflicting) legal advice.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the panoply of large and small, branded and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers that attend the Summit, and there is not always one right answer, so we are told repeatedly to draft policies and procedures, develop reasonable assumptions, and document our methodologies. To help shape your policy and methodology decisions, and to ensure that you continue to benefit from the Summit in the coming months, Knect365 will be providing the presentation slides to all attendees, so keep an eye on your inbox, and continue to check the Health Care Insights Blog for more updates in the coming weeks.

I hope you were able to glean some valuable insights from the MDRP Summit and receive helpful answers to all your questions. More than that, I hope you were able to meet a few new people, finally put faces to names, and reconnect with colleagues and friends. To my friends, thank you for welcoming me back to the GP community with such open arms – let’s not wait another year to do this again.

About the Author: Dana Z. Collins has worked in the Government Pricing space for almost a decade, as both a consultant and an in-house compliance professional. As a GP consultant, Dana’s areas of primary focus are audits/assessments, training, ongoing calculations, Medicaid rebate processing, and policies/procedures – oh, and blogging. After working with Katie Lapins, Principal/Owner of Government Pricing Specialists (GPS), on and off over the years, Dana joined GPS in 2016 and has never looked back.

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