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Pharmacy Services

Revised: 09-07-2018

  • Overview
  • Key Points
  • Eligible Providers
  • Dispensing Providers
  • Prescribing Providers
  • Eligible Recipients
  • Covered Services
  • Compound Drugs
  • Covered Drugs
  • Home Infusion Therapy
  • LTC Facilities
  • Medicare Coverage
  • Minnesota Family Planning Program (MFPP)
  • Pharmacist Administered Immunizations and Vaccines
  • Physician Administered Drugs
  • Pharmacist Prescribing - OTC Medications
  • Pharmacy Service Limitations
  • Point of Sale Diabetic Testing Supply Program
  • Specialty Pharmaceutical Reimbursement
  • Unit Dose Dispensing
  • Noncovered Services
  • Drugs and Costs
  • Automatic Refills
  • Authorization/Limitation Requirements
  • Dispense as Written — Brand Necessary
  • "Refill-Too-Soon" Override and Authorization Requests
  • Billing
  • Accepting Cash Payments
  • POS
  • Usual and Customary
  • Billing Coordination of Benefits (COB)
  • Online Claims Screening (ProDUR)
  • MN–ITS
  • Paper Claims
  • Clozapine Case Management Services
  • Billing for Clozapine Case Management
  • Copays and Spenddowns
  • Drugs Requiring a Diagnosis
  • Medical Supplies and Equipment
  • National Drug Codes (NDC)
  • Prescribing Provider NPI Numbers
  • Reversal of Claims
  • Definitions
  • Drug Formulary Committee
  • Drug Utilization Review Board
  • Legal References
  • Overview

    Information in this section applies to all of Minnesota's Health Care Programs (MHCP). Providers must contact the appropriate health plan for pharmacy information related to members in managed care organizations (MCO).

    Key Points

    Federal Anti-Fraud Statutes
    Pharmacies cannot use pharmaceutical manufacturers’ coupons, discounts or similar promotions to attract prescription business from Medical Assistance members. Federal anti-fraud and abuse provisions prohibit certain types of business transactions or arrangements, per Section 231(h) of HIPAA and the Office of Inspector General Special Fraud Alert, 59 Fed. Reg. 242; 1994. See Provider Requirements section for details.

    How to Determine Drug Coverage
    Use the NDC Search site ( or to determine MHCP coverage of individual drug products.

    Labeler Codes
    Each listed drug product is assigned a unique 11-digit, 3-segment number, known as the National Drug Code (NDC). The first segment (5-digits) identifies the manufacturer or labeler of the drug, the second segment (4-digits) identifies the drug, and the third segment (2-digits) the package size. MHCP requires the 11-digit 5-4-2- format for billing or reporting a NDC.

    If a manufacturer is not listed as a participant in the federal Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, products from that manufacturer will not be covered by that MHCP program.

    Payment for Prescribed Drugs
    The maximum payment for any prescribed drug is the lower of the following:

  • • The pharmacy's usual and customary charge
  • • The estimated actual acquisition cost of the drug or maximum allowable cost (PDF) for a drug established by DHS, plus a fixed dispensing fee
  • Specialty Pharmaceutical Reimbursement rate (PDF), plus a dispensing fee
  • Change Healthcare is the MHCP contracted vendor to maintain the state maximum allowable cost (SMAC) list for generic drugs. Direct questions about the SMAC program or specific SMAC prices to Change Healthcare. To initiate a SMAC price review, complete the MHCP SMAC Research Request Form (DHS-6406) (PDF) and fax it to the Change Healthcare Minnesota SMAC Helpdesk at: 877-350-2810.

    If you have questions about submitting a SMAC Research Request Form, please contact the Change Healthcare Minnesota SMAC Helpdesk at 855-389-9503.

    Tamper-Resistant Prescription Blanks
    The Appropriations Act of 2007-H. R. 2206—76 (PDF) states that payment will not be made for prescriptions in non-electronic form for Medical Assistance (MA) covered outpatient drugs unless the prescription was executed on a tamper resistant prescription blank. This law does not affect E-prescribed, faxed or prescriptions phoned in to the pharmacy by the prescriber.

    Hand-written prescriptions must be executed on a tamper-resistant prescription blank with at least one characteristic from all three categories as outlined in the July 2008 NCPDP letter to Medicaid (PDF).

    Eligible Providers

    Dispensing Providers

    To dispense prescription drugs, an enrolled provider must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • • A pharmacy that is licensed by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy
  • • An out-of-state pharmacy, licensed by a state board of pharmacy, that applies for retroactive enrollment
  • • A physician located in a local trade area where there is no MHCP enrolled pharmacy. To be eligible for payment, the physician must personally dispense the prescribed drug according to applicable Minnesota statutes, and must adhere to the labeling requirements of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy
  • • A physician or nurse practitioner employed by or under contract with a community health board for communicable disease control
  • Prescribing Providers

    To be eligible for coverage, prescriptions must be written by an enrolled prescriber. Prescriptions written by non-enrolled providers are not covered under fee-for-service (FFS) MHCP.

    The following enrolled providers may prescribe drugs within the scope of their profession:

  • Dentists
  • Certified nurse practitioners
  • Mental health certified clinical nurse specialists
  • Optometrists
  • Osteopaths
  • Physician Assistants
  • Physicians
  • Podiatrists
  • • Other health care professionals licensed to prescribe drugs under Minnesota statutes, the laws of another state or Canada
  • Pharmacists may prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) medications to FFS or managed care (MCO)

    Eligible Recipients

    All MHCP (members) are eligible for a certain level of pharmacy and medical supply benefits. See Health Care Programs and Services for specific program coverage. Use MN–ITS Eligibility Request (270) to verify member eligibility and other insurance coverage. Programs with limited prescription drug coverage include the following:

  • • Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA): see EMA Service Limitations for services not available
  • • Program HH ADAP Drug Formulary
  • Members eligible for both MHCP and Medicare Part D (dual eligibles) must select a Medicare Part D plan and receive most of their medications through their selected Medicare Part D plan. MHCP will only cover drugs excluded by law from Medicare Part D coverage.

    When a member elects hospice coverage, bill outpatient drugs and medical supplies directly related to the terminal illness to the hospice provider. If prescription drugs or medical supplies are needed to treat a preexisting condition outside the scope or purpose of treating the terminal illness, follow the standard billing guidelines to bill for MA or MinnesotaCare members.

    Covered Services

    Covered Drugs

    Most decisions regarding MHCP drug coverage are made at the federal level in accordance with Federal OBRA Laws of 1990. Those areas left to Minnesota's discretion are described in this chapter in the Pharmacy Service Limitations section. Please consult these documents for more information on drug coverage:

  • Drug Categories with Limited Coverage
  • Drugs requiring a diagnosis code
  • PA Criteria Sheets
  • Preferred Drug List (PDL) (PDF)
  • Responsibilities of the Drug Formulary Committee and Drug Utilization Review Board are outlined under the definitions section of this chapter.

    Minnesota Family Planning Program (MFPP)

    The Minnesota Family Planning Program (MFPP) provides family planning services and supplies for women and men ages 15 to 50. See Pharmacy Services, Confidentiality and billing instructions in Minnesota Family Planning Program section of the MHCP Provider Manual.

    Pharmacist Administered Immunizations and Vaccines

    State law allows a pharmacist to administer flu vaccines to people age ten and older and all other vaccines to people who are age 18 and older under standing orders from a licensed physician or by written protocol with a physician provided that the pharmacist meets the following:

  • 1. The pharmacist is trained in a program approved by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education for the administration of vaccinations or graduated from a college of pharmacy in 2001 or after.
  • 2. The pharmacist reports the administration of the vaccination to the patient’s primary physician or clinic.
  • State law also requires that providers who administer flu vaccines to children ages 10-18 obtain the flu vaccine from the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program (MNVFC)

    For people 19 years old and older, providers must obtain immunizations and vaccines that are available from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) adult immunization and vaccine program.

    MHCP does not pay for immunizations or vaccines that are available through the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) at no cost to the provider.

    The affiliated pharmacy is responsible for billing MHCP for the pharmacist-administered vaccine and administration fee using the correct CPT codes through their billing intermediary, on MN–ITS Interactive 837 Professional.

    Physician Administered Drugs

    Bill drugs that are administered to a patient as part of a clinic or other outpatient visit to MHCP using the appropriate HCPCS code(s). See Physician and Professional Services section. Do not bill drugs administered during an outpatient visit through the pharmacy POS system. MHCP does not allow “brown-bagging” or “white-bagging” of prescription drugs administered in an office setting.

    Pharmacies, including mail order pharmacies, who are providing the drugs for a clinic visit, should bill the clinic and not MHCP for the drugs dispensed. MHCP will make an exception only if a member has third-party liability and the third-party payer requires that the drugs be billed through the pharmacy benefit.

    Pharmacies should not dispense drugs directly to a patient if the drugs are intended for use during a clinic or other outpatient visit.

    Pharmacist Prescribing – OTC Medications

    The following policies apply to pharmacists prescribing OTC medications:

  • • OTC medication must be medically necessary and the member must not need a referral to another health care professional.
  • • Review drug therapy for potential adverse interactions.
  • • Drug counseling must be consistent with Minnesota Rules 6800.0910.
  • • The pharmacy must keep a prescription on file as defined in MS 151.01, subd. 16. As with all other MHCP prescriptions, keep the prescription on file for five years. For the purposes of providing OTC drugs to members, the pharmacist is the prescriber who must sign the prescription. Prescriptions may be refilled for up to 12 months as specified in Minnesota Rules 6800.3510.
  • • Dispense prescriptions in accordance with all relevant sections of MS 151 and Minnesota Rules 6800.
  • • Use the MHCP pharmacy's NPI number as the prescriber number. Individual pharmacists will not be enrolled as providers.
  • • For the original fill, document on the prescription information regarding medical necessity, drug therapy reviews and drug counseling. For refills document in the patient's profile any updated information regarding medical necessity, drug therapy reviews and drug counseling.
  • • As with all MHCP prescriptions, the pharmacist is strongly encouraged to have the member sign for receipt of the prescription whenever possible.
  • • Dispense the entire package of all OTC medications used on a maintenance or as needed basis at each fill. Do not dispense a partial package of an OTC drug unless the drug is being used on a one-time basis and it is not anticipated that the patient will need a refill. Always dispense all vitamin and mineral supplements in the entire package quantity. Also dispense medications used on an as-needed basis such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and allergy-relief medication in the entire package quantity.
  • • Pharmacies may repackage OTCs, but must still dispense the entire package quantity for all OTC medications used on a maintenance or as needed basis. No additional or enhanced dispensing fee is available for the repackaging of OTC medications.
  • • Bill OTC drug products at the shelf price of the pharmacy. If a pharmacy is not accessible to or frequented by the public, the OTC drug is not on display for sale to the public, or a partial package of the OTC is being dispensed for an acute condition, then the usual and customary charge for the OTC drug will be the actual acquisition cost of the product plus a 50% mark-up based on the actual acquisition cost.
  • • If an OTC is being used on a one-time basis and a partial package is dispensed, the pharmacist should submit the following price for Usual and Customary:
  • • If the shelf price of the entire package is less than $3.65, submit the shelf price of the entire package as the shelf price of the partial package.
  • Example: If a pharmacist is dispensing two bisacodyl tablets for a one-time bowel preparation and the shelf price of the 12-count box of bisacodyl tablets is $3, submit $3 as the usual and customary price for the two tablets.

  • • If the shelf price of the entire package is greater than $3.65, submit as usual and customary a pro-rated shelf price or $3.65, whichever is greater.
  • Example: A pharmacist is dispensing 20 tablets of loperamide for an acute diarrhea episode. The tablets come in a package of 40 tablets and the shelf price for the package is $12. Submit $6 (the pro-rated shelf price) as usual and customary. Alternatively, the pharmacist could dispense a smaller package size.

    To verify if an over the counter (OTC) product is covered by MHCP, use our NDC Search, the Magellan NDC Search or call the MHCP Provider Call Center with the NDC on the container.

    Pharmacy Service Limitations

  • • Dispense a prescribed drug in the quantity specified on the prescription unless the pharmacy is using unit dose dispensing or the specified quantity is not available in the pharmacy when the prescription is dispensed. Only one dispensing fee is allowed for dispensing the quantity specified on the prescription.
  • • The dispensed quantity of a prescribed drug must not exceed a 34-day supply. Exceptions are as follows:
  • • Contraceptive drugs can be dispensed in up to 90-day supplies
  • • If a member’s TPL coverage requires 90-day supply, MHCP may issue an override for the copay portion
  • • The entire package of OTC drugs used on a maintenance or as needed basis must be dispensed at each fill and can be dispensed in greater than 34-day supplies if necessary to meet that requirement
  • • Two rescue inhalers, such as albuterol, can be covered for members who need one for home and one for school or work even if the days’ supply is greater than 34
  • • Except as noted above, an initial or refill prescription for a maintenance drug must be dispensed in not less than a 30-day supply, but no more than a 34-day supply, unless the pharmacy is using unit dose dispensing or the drug is clozapine
  • • Except as described in this section, or unless the drug is clozapine, the dispensing fee billed by or paid to a particular pharmacy or dispensing physician for a maintenance drug is limited to one fee per 34-day supply. More than one dispensing fee per calendar month for a maintenance drug for a member is allowed if the record kept by the pharmacist or dispensing physician documents a significant chance of over dosage if a larger quantity of the specific drug is dispensed, and if the pharmacist or dispensing physician writes this reason on the prescription.
  • • Pharmacies may repackage OTCs, but must still dispense the entire package quantity at each fill for all OTC medications used on a maintenance or an as needed basis. No additional or enhanced dispensing fee is available for the repackaging of OTC medications.
  • Specialty Pharmaceutical Reimbursement

    Specialty pharmaceuticals are defined as those used by a small number of members with complex and chronic diseases that require expensive and challenging drug regimens. The Minnesota Department of Human Services was granted legislative authority to negotiate Specialty Pharmacy Reimbursement Rates lower than the standard WAC minus two percent. Refer to the Specialty Drug List for current Specialty Pharmacy Reimbursement Rates (SMAC pricing).

    Noncovered Services

    Drugs and Costs

    The following are not covered:

  • • Drugs when indicated or used for sexual or erectile dysfunction
  • • Drugs determined to be less than effective according to the Drug Efficacy Study Implementation (DESI) program by the FDA and drugs identified as identical, related or similar to DESI drugs
  • • Drugs that are made by manufacturers that do not have a rebate agreement with CMS
  • • Drugs that are limited or excluded by the state as allowed by federal law (OBRA 90)
  • • Drugs dispensed after their expiration date
  • • The cost of shipping or delivering a drug
  • • Drugs lost in shipping or delivery
  • • Drugs, both legend and OTC, that are not prescribed by practitioners licensed to prescribe or that are not prescribed within their scope of practice
  • • Herbal or homeopathic products
  • • Nutritional supplements, except as specifically allowed in this MHCP Provider Manual or in DHS provider updates
  • • Compounded drugs, except as allowed in this section
  • • Medical cannabis in any form
  • • Drugs that have not been approved for marketing by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Automatic Refills

    MHCP does not allow automatic refills. Prescription refills are not eligible for payment without an explicit request from a member or authorized caregiver for each refill based on continued medical necessity. The pharmacy provider may not contact the member in an effort to initiate a refill unless it is part of medication therapy management services authorized under MN Statutes 256B.0625, Subdivision 13h.

    A nurse or other authorized agent of the facility may initiate a request for refill for a member residing in a skilled nursing facility, group home or assisted living arrangement.

    Cycle fills are only allowed for enrolled unit dose dispensing pharmacies for members residing in skilled nursing facilities.

    Authorization and Limitation Requirements

    Do not submit prior authorization (PA) requests for the above-listed MHCP noncovered drugs. Authorization cannot be granted.

    Updated lists of all drugs requiring prior authorization are posted on the MHCP Pharmacy web page. Authorization requests with incomplete information cannot be processed.

    Pharmacies and prescribing providers must submit all drug PA requests for outpatient prescription drugs and physician-administered drug that require authorization to Health Information Designs (HID), the MHCP Prescription Drug PA Review Agent, by phone at 866-205-2818 or by fax at 866-648-4574.

    When the prescriber initiates the PA request by phone or by fax supply the following:

  • • Name of the drug
  • • Dosage form, the day supply and number of refills
  • • NPI of the prescribing provider
  • • Name and phone number of the selected pharmacy
  • • Supporting documentation of medical necessity, including diagnosis, history of other medications tried, the dates and outcome of the other trials for this condition
  • The MHCP Prescription Drug PA Review Agent will make outbound calls to the pharmacy to determine the NDC and pharmacy NPI, as needed.

    When the pharmacy initiates the PA request by phone or fax, the pharmacist may have to obtain some information from the prescriber, as listed above consistent with Minnesota Rules 6800.3110, subp. 2a: "Minimum information required; Medicaid patients."

    The MHCP Prescription Drug PA Review Agent call center hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday

    Pharmacists may dispense up to a 72-hour supply of a covered medication outside the regular business hours of the MHCP Prescription Drug PA Review Agents. Contact the MHCP Prescription Drug PA review agent during regular business hours for a retroactive authorization for the 72-hour supply.

    The MHCP Prescription Drug PA Review Agent will not authorize the 72-hour supply if the drug dispensed is never covered. The review agent will not approve additional medication beyond the 72-hour supply unless the prior authorization criteria are met.

    DHS has the authority to require authorization for new drugs for 180 days post-market introduction without formulary review.

    For drugs dispensed and billed by a pharmacy, the pharmacist is responsible for obtaining the prior authorization number from the MHCP prescription drug PA review agent or from a prescriber who has received it from the MHCP prescription drug PA review agent. The pharmacist may have to obtain some information from the prescriber, such as diagnosis, consistent with Minnesota Rules 6800.3110, subp. 2a: "Minimum information required; Medicaid patients."

    For Medicaid patients, the pharmacy must make a reasonable effort to obtain, record, and maintain at least the following information:

  • • Name, address, telephone number, date of birth or age, and gender
  • • Individual history where significant, including disease state or states, known allergies and drug reactions, and a comprehensive list of medications and relevant devices being used, showing the prescription number, the name and strength of the drug or device, the quantity and date received by the patient, and the name of the prescriber. If this information is obtained by someone other than the pharmacist, the pharmacist must review the information with the patient
  • • Pharmacist comments relevant to the individual's drug therapy, including, where appropriate, documentation of the following for each prescription:
  • • Pharmaceutical care needs of the patient
  • • Services rendered by the pharmacist
  • • Pharmacist's impression of the patient's drug therapy
  • This documentation is not required for residents of a licensed nursing home when a consultant pharmacist is performing regular drug regimen reviews.

    The prescriber must authorize and approve refill prescriptions as consistent with pharmacy practice standards established by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. The pharmacist who refills the prescription must document and initial refills in the prescription file.

    Dispense as Written (DAW) — Brand Necessary

    The Drug Formulary Committee reviewed and accepted the following prior authorization criteria for payment of brand name medications when a generic is available and a State Maximum Allowable Cost (SMAC) applies:

  • • Prescribers must obtain authorization for any brand name multiple source drug that has an FDA "AB" rated generic equivalent. Providers must write, in their own handwriting, "DAW–brand medically necessary" on the prescription (a checked DAW box or a typed DAW is not acceptable) and obtain authorization from the MHCP prescription drug PA review agent.
  • • For prescriptions transmitted electronically, the prescriber may indicate the DAW 1 box using the e-prescribing software. However, the prescriber must enter “Brand Medically Necessary” in the “Prescriber note to Pharmacy” field. The pharmacy may not make any changes to the “Prescriber note to Pharmacy” field. If a DAW “1” appears and there is no brand necessary notation, the pharmacist must contact the prescriber for a new prescription.
  • • List the specific drug being requested, including dosage form, strength, and directions.
  • • Document when the member tried the generic and the length of the trial period.
  • • Specify the medical problem caused by the generic product. Describe the problem in detail. Examples: hives, rash.
  • • Provide chart documentation of generic failure whenever possible.
  • Include the name and NPI number of the MHCP prescribing physician, the NDC number, and the NPI number of the dispensing MHCP pharmacy.

    When submitting claims, dispensing providers must use code 01: Substitution Not Allowed by Provider and the authorization number.

    An exception to this policy is when a generic drug has a higher net cost to the State than the brand name drug. When this occurs, MHCP may prefer the brand name drug over the generic until the generic product is available at a reduced cost. When DHS prefers the brand to the generic, the prescriber is not required to write “DAW–brand medically necessary” on the prescription or enter “Brand Medically Necessary” in the “Prescriber note to Pharmacy” field. When a new generic drug becomes available, use our NDC Search or call the MHCP Provider Call Center to determine if the generic drug is under authorization requirements.

    Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) price limitations do not apply if the prescriber has certified that a particular brand is medically necessary and has met the prior authorization criteria. If a prescription is "DAW–brand necessary," but the prescribed drug manufacturer is not a participant in the Federal Drug Rebate Program, the drug is not covered.

    "Refill-Too-Soon" Override and Authorization Requests

    Contact the MHCP Provider Call Center at 651-431-2700 or 800-366-5411 for a refill-too-soon override in the situations listed below:

  • • A prior authorization may be granted for members living in a long-term care facility who receive a pass to leave the facility for a weekend or other short stay away from the facility. Authorization will not be granted for supplies for regularly scheduled absences, such as for work or school
  • • Situations listed in the Pharmacy Early-Refill Overrides indicating the circumstances where overrides or authorizations from the MHCP Provider Call Center are granted.
  • The MHCP Provider Call Center cannot issue a prior authorization or an override for drugs requiring an authorization due to preferred drug list status or clinical criteria.


    Pharmacies must use their NCPDP D.0 POS (point of sale) to bill for prescription drugs. Pharmacies should not bill for drugs administered in a clinic.

    Review MHCP general Third Party Liability (TPL) policy in the Billing Policy section of the Provider Manual.

    Bill primary health insurance plans and receive payment to the fullest extent possible before billing MHCP. Private health care coverage is primary to MHCP and must be used first and according to the rules of the specific plan. You are responsible for the following:

  • • Obtain prior authorization for services as required by the primary plan.
  • • Follow the protocols established by the primary plan (demonstrated use of generic vs. brand name).
  • • Follow rules of the primary health plan.
  • Accepting Cash Payments

    Do not accept cash payment from a member, or from someone paying on behalf of the member, for any MHCP covered prescription drug.

    A pharmacy may accept cash payment for a noncovered prescription drug if all of the following apply:

  • • The member is not enrolled in the restricted recipient program
  • • The pharmacist has reviewed all available covered alternatives with the member
  • • The pharmacy obtains an Advance Recipient Notice of Non-covered Prescription (DHS-3641) (PDF)
  • • The prescription is not for a controlled substance (other than weight loss medications that are not part of the MA benefit, such as phentermine)
  • • The prescription is not for gabapentin
  • A pharmacy may accept cash payment for a controlled substance or gabapentin only if the pharmacy has received an Advance Recipient Notice of Non-covered Prescription (DHS-3641) (PDF) signed by the prescriber and all criteria has been met for a member who is not enrolled in the restricted recipient program. MHCP will not authorize a pharmacy to accept cash if the medication requires prior authorization or is subject to a quantity limit and the prescriber has not attempted to obtain the prior authorization or authorization to exceed the quantity limit. MHCP will authorize cash payment if the pharmacy and member complete their sections of the DHS-3641 and the prescriber also confirms the following:

  • • Covered alternatives are not viable options for the member
  • • The prescriber is aware that he or she is seeking authorization for the pharmacy to charge the member for the medication
  • • The prescriber is aware of the last time the medication was filled for the member, if applicable
  • • The prescriber attests that allowing the member to purchase the medication is medically necessary
  • The prescriber must sign the DHS-3641, send the completed form to the pharmacy and retain a copy of the completed form in the member’s medical record. The pharmacy must also retain a copy of the completed form as documentation of approval from MHCP to accept cash payment on the date of service. The completed DHS-3641 is authorization from MHCP to accept cash payment on the date of service; you do not need to submit a copy to MHCP, unless requested. The prescriber or pharmacy does not need to call MHCP for additional authorization.


    Phentermine is a drug used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program. Phentermine is not covered by Medical Assistance because weight loss drugs are excluded from coverage in state law. A pharmacy may accept member payment for a phentermine prescription provided:

  • • The phentermine is being used as part of a comprehensive weight loss program and is prescribed at the FDA-approved dose
  • • The pharmacist has reviewed the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and determined the prescription is not being abused or overused
  • • You inform the member before you dispense the phentermine prescription that the member is responsible for payment
  • • You or an authorized health care representative completes the Advance Recipient Notice of Non-covered Prescription (DHS-3641) (PDF) and the member signs the form
  • If a member’s MHCP eligibility status is in question and the member offers cash payment for prescriptions, the pharmacy must verify eligibility through MN–ITS or EVS. If the person does not have coverage through MHCP, you may charge that person and accept cash as payment. If the member is covered by MHCP, do not accept cash payment from the member for the prescription if he or she is enrolled in the restricted recipient program.


    All required fields must be completed on the NCPDP claim for the claim to process. Some fields are mandatory while other fields are optional. Optional fields may become required only when reporting situational information, such as coordination of benefits or other payments or adjustments made on a claim.

    Usual and Customary

    In the Usual and Customary Charge field, enter the amount you would charge cash customers, less any sales tax and other discounts, coupons, insurance write-offs or price reduction adjustment.

    Example: The pharmacy bills the TPL (other insurance) their usual and customary amount of $100. The TPL indicates there is a provider write-off adjustment of $20 on this claim. The TPL pays $60 with a $20 subscriber copay amount due. The pharmacy would bill MHCP $80 ($100 usual and customary, less the $20 provider write-off adjustment), report the $60 TPL payment in other payer amount paid field and enter the $20 copay amount in the gross amount due field.

    Use the following criteria when submitting your usual and customary charge:

  • • Bill the usual and customary charge. This applies whether the drug is purchased by prescription or OTC, in bulk or unit-dose packaging.
  • • Bill OTC drug products at the shelf price of the pharmacy.
  • • If a pharmacy is not accessible to or frequented by the public, the OTC drug is not on display for sale to the public, or a partial package of an OTC is being dispensed for one-time acute use, then the usual and customary charge for the OTC drug will be the actual acquisition cost of the product plus a 50% mark-up based on the actual acquisition cost.
  • • Amounts paid in full or in part by third party payers must be included in the calculation of the usual and customary charge only if a third party payer constitutes 51% or more of the pharmacy's business, based on the number of prescriptions filled by the pharmacy on a quarterly basis.
  • • For members with private health insurance, do not bill MHCP more than the client-liable amount (for example, co-payment). Examples of correct billing include the following:
  • Submitted charge: Amount allowed by the third party payer
  • Prior payments: Amount paid by the third party payer
  • Co-payment: The difference between the submitted charge and the prior payment
  • Providers may need to override their system's usual and customary charge manually to prevent over-billing.

    Billing Coordination of Benefits (COB)

    Pharmacies must follow the NCPDP Implementation Guide when submitting claims with coordination of benefits from more than one health plan or provider. Complete all applicable fields correctly and appropriately. Failure to do so will cause denial of claims or recovery of payments.

    Refer to the Minnesota Medicaid Version D.0 NCPDP Payer Sheet (PDF) for specific billing instructions.

    Online Claims Screening (ProDUR)

    POS claims are screened by DHS online edits that check recipient data and alert pharmacists to potential drug conflicts. This screening process, referred to as ProDUR, occurs at the time of POS transmission. Claims in conflict with ProDUR edits are identified by a series of DUR conflict, intervention and outcome codes and may be overridden by the pharmacist. The only POS edits that a pharmacist can override are those relating to DUR. A pharmacist may override a ProDUR edit only if there is a valid reason for doing so. Refer to the Non-Controlled and Controlled Substances linked charts in the "Policies for Handling Refill-Too-Soon Override and Authorization Requests" section to determine if an override request is appropriate.

    Paid Claim: Some DUR conflict codes are posted for informational purposes only and allow claims to be paid.

    If it is in the member's best medical interest to fill the prescription, the pharmacist may override the denial. Enter the appropriate intervention and outcome codes in the corresponding field and resubmit the claim using POS. To override a denial code, do the following:

  • • Select a corrective action and enter the related intervention code in the corresponding field.
  • • Record the result of the corrective action using the appropriate outcome code in the corresponding field.
  • • Resubmit the claim via POS.
  • MN–ITS

    MN–ITS is a no-cost online DHS web-based HIPAA-compliant billing, inquiry and communication tool. Computer and internet access are required. For more information about using MN–ITS, refer to the following:

  • • Refer to the MN–ITS User Guide for Pharmacy (NCPDP) electronic submission of pharmacy claims.
  • • Refer to this MN–ITS User Guide to bill individual claims for durable medical equipment, medical supplies and services requiring the use of a HCPCS code.
  • • Refer to this MN–ITS User Guide to submit a new 837P MTMS Claim.
  • Paper Claims

    MHCP does not accept paper claims.

    Clozapine Case Management Services

    Use HCPCS code G9012 for case management service for the specialized care management service required to ensure the safety of the members receiving clozapine. Submit claims using MN–ITS Professional (837P). Clozapine management services consist of the following:

  • • Ensuring the required white blood cell (WBC) and absolute neutrophil count (ANC) testing for clozapine occurs at a frequency in accordance with the rules set forth in the “black box” warning of the manufacturer’s package insert.(Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements)
  • • Providing and documenting coordination of care with the member’s provider(s) for the purposes of:
  • • Obtaining blood test results in a timely fashion
  • • Ensuring the member receives medications as scheduled or stops therapy when required (and is subsequently and appropriately monitored)
  • • Helping transition and coordinate the use of the clozapine formulations and clozapine management services between different care locations
  • • Meeting the requirements of the drug manufacturers’ clozapine registries as well as additional record keeping requirements that include maintaining:
  • • Copies of the physician’s prescription for clozapine and clozapine management
  • • Copies of laboratory results of WBC counts and ANC’s
  • • Signed and dated notes documenting all clozapine management services
  • Billing for Clozapine Case Management

    Refer to the following when billing for clozapine case management:

  • • Submit claims for clozapine management only as often as a member’s WBC count and ANC are tested, even if clozapine is more frequently dispensed. The prescriber determines frequency of WBC and ANC tests.
  • • A single fee is allowed for clozapine management services per one date of service (DOS).
  • • For members who have weekly WC count and ANC’s, submit claims for one DOS per calendar week.
  • • For members who have biweekly or monthly WBC and ANC’s, submit claims for one DOS per two weeks or one DOS per month.
  • Note: The blood test is separately reimbursable for a Medicaid–certified laboratory.

    Copays and Spenddowns

    Some MHCP members may have a copay or spenddown responsibility for products and service.

    Drugs Requiring a Diagnosis

    An ICD-10 diagnosis code must be included on claims for certain drugs. The pharmacist must verify the diagnosis with the prescriber before submitting a claim. Review: Drugs requiring a diagnosis code.

    Enter the ICD-10 diagnosis code in the Diagnosis Code field on the POS claim or on MN–ITS Interactive Pharmacy (NCPDP) electronic format.

    Medical Supplies and Equipment

    Pharmacies that dispense medically necessary medical supplies and equipment, such as enteral nutritional products, incontinence products, gauze pads or walkers, must submit the claim to MHCP using the Healthcare Common Procedure Code System (HCPCS) code set and, in some cases, a modifier. A modifier further defines the product or service by indicating for example: if the item is new, a rental or being repaired, if the product or service warrants additional pricing, etc.

    For diabetic supplies, see Point of sale Diabetic Testing Supply Program.

    Contact your software vendor or billing intermediary for their specific billing instructions for medical supplies and equipment.

    Use MN–ITS 837P to bill for medical supplies and equipment. Refer to the MN–ITS User Guide for DME, Medical Supplies, Prosthetic and Orthotic Service for billing instructions.

    Submit authorization requests with the required documentation to the authorization medical review agent. Submit authorization requests via MN–ITS, fax or mail.

    Refer to the Equipment & Supplies section of this manual for coverage criteria and billing instructions. Find links to Medical Supply Related Lists and Prior Authorization Forms on the MHCP Enrolled Providers - Equipment and Supplies homepage.

    National Drug Codes (NDC)

    All pharmacy claims submitted to DHS must identify the 11-digit NDC printed on the stock container in which the drug was purchased.

    A pharmacy may not dispense a repackager's drug and then bill DHS using the original manufacturer's NDC.

    Medicaid does not cover most drugs distributed by repackagers because the repackager has not signed a rebate agreement with CMS.

    Prescribing Provider NPI Numbers

    All pharmacy claims must include the National Provider Identifier (NPI) of the prescribing provider, or in certain rare situations, an alternate NPI may be used as outlined below:

  • • Use the NPI of the MHCP enrolled prescribing provider
  • • Use the NPI of an MHCP enrolled supervising physician if the NPI of the prescribing provider is not available because they are an intern or resident.
  • • Use the NPI of the dispensing pharmacy as the prescribing provider when the pharmacist has prescribed OTC medications.
  • Enter the prescribing provider NPI or the appropriate alternate NPI in the corresponding POS field or on MN–ITS Interactive Pharmacy (NCPDP) electronic format.

    MHCP enrolled prescribing provider NPIs are in the NPI and UPMI list published on the secure MN–ITS Interactive Welcome page. (MN–ITS login is required)

    Reversal of Claims

    Pharmacy providers should not reverse claims on POS for members who have had a change in their spenddown amount, program coverage or eligibility. DHS will make the adjustment automatically.

    If a replacement claim does not appear on your next RA within two weeks of the spenddown or eligibility change, contact the Provider Call Center at 651-431-2700 or 800-366-5411.


    Actual Acquisition Cost: The net cost of a drug to the dispenser; this includes quantity, volume, and special discounts but does not include cash or time discounts. The commissioner estimates the acquisition cost of a drug to be Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC), plus two percent.

    Cash Discount: A reduction in price that occurs when cash accompanies the order for merchandise.

    Compounded Prescription: A prescription prepared in accordance with Minnesota Rules 6800.3100.

    Dispensing Date: The actual date the entire quantity was dispensed. For drugs dispensed in unit dose containers, the last dispensing date of the calendar month must be used as the dispensing date on the claim form.

    Dispensing Fee: The amount allowed for the pharmacy service in dispensing the prescribed drug.

    Drug Efficacy Study Implementation (DESI) Drugs: Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designations related to "substantial evidence" of effectiveness. DESI drugs were introduced to the market between 1937 and 1962, during which time manufacturers did not have to show that their products were effective. Federal Medicaid statutes prohibit state Medicaid agencies from paying for these drugs. Examples include Midrin and Anusol HC suppositories.

    Dual Eligibility: Individuals entitled to Medicare Part A/Part B and eligible for some form of Medicaid benefit.

    Federal Drug Rebate Program: Established by the federal statute referred to as OBRA 90, requires manufacturers to sign a rebate agreement with the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to have their products covered for Medicaid members. State Medicaid agencies administer the program and collect rebates from the manufacturers.

    Generically Equivalent Drug: A drug product that, in the pharmacist's professional judgment, is safely interchangeable with the prescribed drug.

    Legend drug: A drug that is required by federal law to bear one of the following statements: “Caution: Federal law prohibits dispensing without prescription” or “Rx only.”

    Maintenance Drug: A prescribed drug that a member uses for a period greater than two consecutive months.

    Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC): The highest drug ingredient reimbursement that will be allowed for drugs designated by CMS or by DHS as multisource. Federally designated reimbursement values are referred to as federal upper limits (FUL). These reimbursement values are updated on an intermittent basis and are available on the DHS Web site in a PDF format.

    Pharmacist: An individual with a currently valid license issued by a state board of pharmacy to practice pharmacy.

    Pharmacy: An established place of business, licensed by a state board of pharmacy, in which prescriptions, drugs, medicines, chemicals, and poisons are prepared, compounded, dispensed, vended, or sold to or for the use of patients and from which related clinical pharmacy services are delivered.

    Pharmacy Service: The dispensing of drugs, counseling, concurrent DUR and other activities as described in MS 151.01, subd. 27, or as performed by a dispensing physician.

    Point of Sale (POS): Software used to submit a pharmacy claim

    Prescribed Drug: A drug as defined in MS 151.01, subd. 5. Ordered by a practitioner who is licensed to prescribe.

    Presumptive Eligibility: A short-term period of eligibility that is determined at the point of service by the participating provider. The presumptive eligibility period begins the first day of the month that the participating provider makes the presumptive eligibility determination and continues through a minimum of 30 days after the date of application. Individuals found presumptively eligible may receive services immediately.

    Quantity Discount: A price reduction that is dependent on the size or number of items ordered (e.g., a discount to the purchaser for buying drugs packaged in thousands rather than hundreds, or a discount for buying "x" units when either no discount or a lesser discount will apply if fewer than "x" units are ordered).

    Reimbursement rates: The DHS reimbursement rate for most drugs without a generic equivalent is the lower of usual and customary or wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) plus two percent. For independent rural pharmacies in Minnesota, the reimbursement rate is the lower of usual and customary or WAC plus four percent.

    Shelf Price: The price charged by a provider for a product when that product is sold to the public in the original, unopened manufacturer's container. Temporary sale prices or advertised markdowns with time limitations do not apply to shelf price.

    Time Discount: A reduction in price when payment is made within a short time (not to exceed 10 days) after receipt of the merchandise; this definition will not apply to large volumes or quantities of drugs that are ordered and then received in small increments over a specified period with payment made for each increment after it is needed.

    Usual and Customary: Refers to an amount billed by a provider, meaning provider's charge to the type of payer that constitutes the largest share of their business. For this definition, payer means a third party or persons who pay for health services by cash, check or charge account. See Minnesota Rules 9505.0175, subp.49

    Volume Discount: Sometimes synonymous with quantity discount but it may also be a reduction in price based on the monetary volume of an invoice (e.g., 10% reduction for an order of $500 or more).

    Drug Formulary Committee

    The Drug Formulary Committee (DFC) is charged with reviewing and recommending which drugs require authorization. The DFC also reviews over the counter (OTC) drugs for which coverage is optional under federal and state law (for possible inclusion in the Medicaid fee-for-service formulary).

    The DFC is comprised of four physicians, four pharmacists, and a consumer representative. DFC meetings must hold a public forum and public comments are taken for an additional 15 days following a DFC recommendation to require prior authorization for a drug. The Department of Human Services (DHS) provides the DFC with information regarding the impact of placing a drug on required prior authorization status will have on the quality and cost of patient care.

    Drug Utilization Review Board

    The Drug Utilization Review (DUR) Board selects specific drug entities or therapeutic classes to be targeted for provider and member educational interventions, and provides guidelines for their use.

    The nine-member DUR Board is composed of at least three, but not more than four, licensed physicians, at least three licensed pharmacists and one consumer representative, with the remaining members licensed health care professionals with clinically appropriate knowledge in prescribing, dispensing, and monitoring outpatient drugs. DUR Board meetings are open to the public.

    Legal References

    Minnesota Statutes 151 (chapter – Pharmacy)
    Minnesota Statutes 151.01
    , subd. 5, 27 and 49 (Definitions)
    Minnesota Statutes 256B.0625
    , subd.13a-13h (Covered Services – Drugs)
    Minnesota Statutes 256B.0625
    , subd. 55 (Payment for noncovered services.)
    Minnesota Rules 6800
    (Chapter-Pharmacies and Pharmacists)
    Minnesota Rules 6800.2700
    (Return of drugs and devices)
    Minnesota Rules 6800.3100
    (Compound and Dispensing)
    Minnesota Rules 6800.3110
    , subp. 2a (Patient Medication Profiles)
    Minnesota Rules 9505.0175
    , subp. 49 (Usual and Customary)
    Minnesota Rules 9505.0340
    (Pharmacy Services)
    Minnesota Rules 9505.5000 to 9505.5105
    (Prior Authorization Applicability)
    42 CFR 440.120(a)
    Title XIX, Section 1927
    of the Social Security Act (Payment for Covered Outpatient Drugs)
    Title XII, Section 483.10
    (Resident rights)

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