California suspends Medicaid prior authorization for most drugs

California's Health Care Services Department issued a notice Feb. 6 that removed prior authorization requirements for most drugs Under Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program. 

The department has been looking to transition Medi-Cal's pharmacy services arm from a managed care to a fee-for-service system. Waiving prior authorizations aims to make the transition a smooth one, according to the California Medical Association.

The notice is retroactively effective from Jan. 1. 

Exempt from the change are antidepressants, opioid analgesics, tranquilizers and some products for children under the age of 21. 

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