While Vermontanticipates $4 million in returns this year on its 121,000 Medicaidbeneficiaries, Iowa expects $11 million and Maine nearly $5 millionon their collective lives. Governor Douglas noted, “This represents andextraordinary accomplishment for our states of which we can be veryproud.” Jason GibbsGovernor’sCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier,VT 05609-0101 ¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345 ### Governor Douglas stated, “Medicaid drug costshave grown dramatically in recent years. States have control over what we coverunder Medicaid and how much we pay for it. Medicaid programs have beeninnovative in creating cost-saving strategies like Preferred Drug Lists andappropriate drug utilization programs. The preservation of the benefit weprovide our citizens is a top priority; however, we must work to controlspending in order to ensure coverage. In the absence of federal initiatives, ithas been necessary for states to be creative in finding ways to contain costs. Thecreation of the SSDC is the next step in the ongoing effort to control theincreases in drug costs while maintaining a comprehensive drug benefit.” Two other Medicaid pools have been approved by CMS. These pools aremanaged by pharmacy benefit management companies contracted to select states. Oneof the unique components of the SSDC as a state administered pool is that anystate can participate regardless of how they administer their Medicaid pharmacybenefit, through state or contractual resources, and the SSDC will beencouraging other states to look at this model in the future. Anotherdistinction is that the SSDC process is completely transparent to its members. All participating states have access to the full terms and conditions of allbids by pharmaceutical manufacturers. States then collectively review the bidswhile independently deciding which are appropriate for each of our states. Atthe same, this arrangement can assure that 100 percent of negotiated rebatesare returned to the Medicaid program – a no contractor can profit bysharing in the rebates. Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas announced today thatVermont, Iowa and Maine have formed a first in the nation, state administeredprescription drug purchasing pool, that is expected to save Vermont approximately$4 million this year. On July 20, 2006 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approvedthe operation of the Sovereign States Drug Consortium (SSDC), collaborationbetween Vermont, Maineand Iowa. Program Expected to Save Vermont $4 Million This Year In a Medicaid drug rebate pool, states leverage their collectivecovered lives to negotiate for discounts in drug costs. Statesuse Preferred Drug Lists to promote clinically appropriate alternatives thatare the most cost effective in the individual states. Preferred products maybe generics, low cost brands, or higher cost brands where the drugmanufacturers provide a financial incentive to have their products preferred. The incentive is provided through a negotiated rebate from the drugmanufacturers based on actual utilization. The more states in a pool, the higherthe utilization, and, thus, the greater the rebate negotiated. GOVERNORDOUGLAS ANNOUNCES VERMONT TO FORM FIRST-EVER STATE ADMINISTEREDPRESCRIPTION DRUGPURCHASINGPOOL WITH MAINE AND IOWA
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Nikitas MargiellosTwo more suspected members of an alleged burglary crew accused of stealing $10 million worth of cash and property across Long Island over a two-year span have been rounded up, authorities said.Nassau, Suffolk and federal investigators said the suspects—one of whom is an ex-NYPD detective—are now believed to have broken into more than 50 homes and businesses after stalking their victims online, in-person and with GPS tracking devices.“This was a highly organized, systematic, professional team of criminals,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Thursday, adding that the alleged crew spoke of burglary in code as “going fishing.”The alleged ringleader, 33-year-old Nikitas “Nicky” Margiellos of West Babylon, who previously pleaded not guilty to federal charges, has been indicted in Nassau County court on added counts of burglary and possession of burglars’ tools.Also indicted on the same charges were the two newly named suspects, 54-year-old Gerard Camarano of Valley Stream and 32-year-old Trung Lu of Ridgewood, prosecutors said. All three pleaded not guilty Thursday. Another pair of suspects was also charged in Nassau, but their names were not immediately released because they have yet to be apprehended, investigators said.The new charges stem from two alleged burglaries—at DSW Shoe Warehouse in Carle Place and Scents Forever in Hicksville—that led investigators to Omega Storage in Amityville, where the suspects allegedly stored burglar’s tools such as a cell phone jammer, jack hammer, acetylene torch, a hydraulic floor jack, bolt cutter, dog catcher pole and masks.FBI agents, Nassau and Suffolk detectives allegedly caught the ex-New York City detective, Rafael Astacio of Copiague, driving the getaway car for two of his co-defendants, Joseph Alacqua and Michael Brown, as all three fled a June 2012 burglary, authorities said.The investigators had used wiretaps to listen to the suspect plan that break in—despite the crew using disposable phones, walkie-talkies and police scanners to evade detection—before authorities staked out the location to catch them in the act, prosecutors said.Brown had pleaded guilty in Suffolk court last year to attempted burglary. Alacqua pleaded not guilty to burglary. Astacio pleaded not guilty to charges announced last fall.Authorities said the suspects were linked to the break-ins after distinct patterns emerged, such as the crew cutting phone lines to disable alarms, cutting through the wall of a neighboring business to get at their targets and then burglarizing victimized business owners’ homes.The crew has been accused of 28 Suffolk burglaries, 21 Nassau break ins, one case in Queens and another in Westchester so far, although the investigation is continuing and more charges are expected. Businesses they hit include doctor’s offices, perfume warehouses, cigarette warehouses, leather goods stores, restaurants a meat warehouse and a coin store.Three suspects facing previously announced federal charges include 50-year-old Leonard Repka of Lindenhurst, 52-year-old Michael Figueroa of Mount Vernon and 37-year-old Victor Arias of Copiague.Bail for Camarano and Lu on the latest charges was set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. Margiellos’ bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. They each face up to 16 years in prison on the new counts.
Greensburg, Ind. — Southeastern Indiana hearing patients now have another option. Help U Hear Audiology held a Greensburg Decatur County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting this morning, at their new offices.Hearing Instrument Specialist, Austin Dunn, who formerly lived in New Point and Oldenburg, now sees patients there. The practice is overseen by Certified Audiologist, Dr. David Lewis. Dunn is pictured (above) holding the ceremonial scissors, along with Lewis at his side.Help U Hear’s building formerly housed Dr. Robert Eversole’s dental practice, and -long ago- a branch of Union Bank & Trust. It is situated on West 4th Street, between Tops Hardware and the soccer field at North Park.