On May 24, 2022, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed H 353 into law. H 353 is a bill that addresses patient steering in the state and requires the state to look into issues like reimbursement transparency, spread pricing, and other PBM practices that raise costs for patients and plans. In effect, H 353 will make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible, as well as safeguard independent pharmacies from predatory PBM practices.
In the past several months, many states have passed laws supporting PBM reform. Vermont may be the next. On March 25, 2022, the Vermont House of Representatives passed a new bill, H 353, that would limit pharmacy benefit managers and increase transparency across the state. The bill comes after a record number of Vermont pharmacies have closed in recent months. H 353 aims to close that gap. The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.
Vermont is due to renew its Global Commitment to Health as it expires at the end of the 2021 calendar year. The proposed 5-year extension seeks to move the Medicaid population to a new risk-bearing, state-run, public managed care organization (MCO). The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) would accept the risk for the Medicaid population, starting January 1, 2022, and cover health services - including pharmacy services.
H 439 has been signed by the Governor of Vermont in order to further regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the state. This law prohibits a PBM from restricting access to a pharmacy network or changing reimbursement rates for a pharmacy solely based on that pharmacy's participation in a 340B contract arrangement.
Vermont General Assembly