FAQs

What is an Average Acquisition Cost (AAC) rate schedule?

Why might Alabama Medicaid request information about my pharmacy’s drug purchases?

Why should I send information about my pharmacy’s drug purchases to Alabama Medicaid, if requested to do so?

What are the acceptable methods to transmit my drug purchase information?

What will Alabama Medicaid do with drug purchase information it receives from me?

Why might my pharmacy be selected to provide drug purchase information?

How often might I be asked to provide drug purchase information?

For what time period would my drug purchase information be requested?

How will the AAC rate schedule be updated?  How do I report concerns about product prices or product availability?

How often will the AAC rate schedule on the Myers and Stauffer Alabama Pharmacy Web site be updated?

Whom may I contact with questions regarding this initiative?

What is an Average Acquisition Cost (AAC) rate schedule?  

Average Acquisition Cost (AAC) rate schedules are based on the premise that chemically equivalent drug products in the same strength and dosage should be reimbursed similarly.  AAC rates are designed to maximize the cost-effectiveness of pharmacy services by setting reimbursement amounts for therapeutically equivalent drug products at the same price, based on the cost of the products.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses this same premise to establish federal upper limits (FULs) for drug products.  AAC rates are essentially the state Medicaid program version of CMS FULs

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Why might Alabama Medicaid request information about my pharmacy’s drug purchases?  

In order to maintain an AAC program with reimbursement that reflects current pharmaceutical market conditions, the AAC rate schedule is based on the actual acquisition costs of Medicaid pharmacy providers.  The calculated rates are designed to reimburse ingredient costs, considering the prices pharmacies must pay in order to acquire the selected drugs and pharmacies' need for flexibility in the acquisition of proper drugs to fill prescriptions.

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Why should I send information about my pharmacy’s drug purchases to Alabama Medicaid, if requested to do so?  


The AAC rate schedule is based on Medicaid pharmacy providers’ actual experiences purchasing selected drug products.  Providers who receive requests for drug purchase information are required by ALMA to provide the requested information to insure that the established AAC rates fully consider providers' cost experience in the marketplace.

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What are the acceptable methods to transmit my drug purchase information?  

For drug purchases made during the identified time period requested by the Alabama Medicaid Agency (ALMA), providers can simply retrieve the invoices reflecting their purchases, photocopy the records, then mail the copies to Myers and Stauffer.  A provider can also provide this data via email in an electronic format.  Electronic files can be accepted in Excel format, or as tab-delimited or pipe-delimited text files.  The following outlines the electronic file layout:

Field Data Type Length
Pharmacy_ID Text 15 characters, variable length
Pharmacy_Name Text 100 characters, variable length
Invoice_Date Date 10 characters (mm/dd/yyyy)
NDC_CODE Text 11 characters, fixed length
Item_Number Text 10 characters, variable length
Item_Description Text 100 characters, variable length
Package_Size Text 75 characters, variable length
Net_Quantity Integer Whole number (15 digits, no decimals)
Unit_Of_Measure Text 25 characters, variable length
Unit_Cost Decimal 0000000000000000.00000 (15 digits, 5 decimal places)
Net_Extended_Cost Decimal 0000000000000000.00000 (15 digits, 5 decimal places)

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What will Alabama Medicaid do with drug purchase information it receives from me?  

The ALMA will use drug purchase information submitted by pharmacies for the purpose of establishing, evaluating, maintaining, and updating an AAC rate schedule.  The ALMA has contracted with the firm of Myers and Stauffer to assist in developing and maintaining the AAC.  Pharmacies are encouraged to submit copies of purchase information, rather than originals as information submitted will not be returned.

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Why might my pharmacy be selected to provide drug purchase information?  

All pharmacy providers enrolled in the Alabama Medicaid Agency program are eligible for random selection to provide drug purchase information to the ALMA and Myers and Stauffer.

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How often might I be asked to provide drug purchase information?  

All pharmacy providers enrolled in the Alabama Medicaid program are eligible for selection to provide drug purchase information.  Periodically, Myers and Stauffer will request purchase information from a sample of identified pharmacy providers.  It is not anticipated that any pharmacy location will be selected more frequently than once every two years.

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For what time period would my drug purchase information be requested?  

All pharmacy providers enrolled in the Alabama Medicaid program are eligible for selection to provide drug purchase information.  When a request is received for drug purchase information, the time frame of the data will be requested for the most recent 30 day period.  If that drug purchase information for the most recent 30 day period is not readily available, then the next most recent 30 day period will be acceptable.

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How will the AAC rate schedule be updated?  How do I report concerns about product prices or product availability?  

The Alabama Medicaid Agency (ALMA) recognizes that changes in pharmaceutical prices and product availability occur on a regular basis.  In addition, the ALMA recognizes that the most current, and reliable information regarding changes in acquisition cost and product availability will be provided by pharmacies.  The ALMA will obtain and review industry data, such as published pricing information, and information provided by Alabama pharmacies to frequently assess the AAC program and to insure that AAC rates reflect current pharmaceutical market conditions.  To respond to changes in the pharmaceutical market that may impact the price and/or availability of drug products, adjustments to the AAC program will be made periodically as needed.

Providers may also request that the ALMA review AAC prices for particular drugs.  Providers who wish the ALMA to consider adjustments to AAC rates may make such a request by contacting Myers and Stauffer in writing by e-mail, regular mail, fax or toll free telephone.  When making such a request, providers will be asked to provide as much information as possible to assist the ALMA and Myers and Stauffer in understanding the specific issue being raised and the provider’s desired outcome.  Helpful information should include but not be limited to drug purchase summaries, invoices, remittance advices, and other such documentation.  In the absence of sufficient information to assess concerns about AAC rates or other aspects of the AAC program, provider requests cannot be fully considered.  Providers initiating requests for review of AAC rates or other issues may be contacted to request supporting documentation or other information.

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How often will the AAC rate schedule on the Myers and Stauffer Alabama Pharmacy Web site be updated?  

The AAC rate schedule will be updated as necessary as changes are made to the AAC rates for any drug.  The updated AAC rate schedule will be posted along with the effective date of the change.

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Whom may I contact with questions regarding this initiative?  

We welcome provider's questions, comments, and input regarding the AAC program and AAC rate schedule.  To share general comments or to request information regarding the AAC rate schedule, you may contact the Myers and Stauffer Pharmacy Unit.

Providers are encouraged to contact the Myers and Stauffer Pharmacy Unit to discuss: 

  • Changes in acquisition cost of a drug
  • Changes in product availability
  • Questions regarding AAC rates
  • Questions concerning drugs on the AAC rate list
  • How to obtain a copy of the AAC rate list

Contact Myers and Stauffer by Telephone, Fax, Mail, or E-mail  

Parties who wish to comment or discuss questions, comments, or concerns about the AAC program may contact Myers and Stauffer weekdays between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. (Central Time) as follows:

Myers and Stauffer LC

Pharmacy Unit

9265 Counselors Row, Suite 100

Indianapolis, IN 46240

Phone:  800-591-1183

Fax:  317-571-8481

Email:  alpharmacy@mslc.com

Contact Myers and Stauffer Online  

Comments or questions may be forwarded to Myers and Stauffer via the Internet at any time by visiting www.mslc.com/Alabama.  This Internet site has been developed exclusively to support the Alabama Medicaid AAC program.  On this site providers will find the AAC rate schedule and updates, news and information, and online forms to send questions and comments to Myers and Stauffer.

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