Mandatory mail-order drug service for Medi-Cal is being reviewed

A decision to require all local Medi-Cal subscribers to use a mail-order prescription drug service is being reviewed amid concerns from providers and recipients, a move that could ultimately affect thousands of San Luis Obispo County residents.

More than a dozen local pharmacists and Medi-Cal recipients attended the CenCal Health board meeting in Santa Maria on Wednesday to protest the decision, prompting at least two board members to question whether they had fully considered how the decision could affect local patients.

The requirement, the opponents said, is confusing for those with special needs and would erase the role of the local pharmacist, a key source of guidance for many recipients. CenCal Health, a nonprofit organization formerly known as The Santa Barbara Health Authority, has administered Medi-Cal benefits to an estimated 26,000 San Luis Obispo County residents since March.

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