ARIZONA NEWS

COVID vaccine reimbursement issues causing problems for Arizona pharmacies

Oct 22, 2021, 4:45 AM
(Pexels photo)...
(Pexels photo)
(Pexels photo)

PHOENIX — The federal government is fronting the money for anyone who wants to get vaccinated against COVID-19, but an Arizona pharmacy group said challenges with reimbursement are resulting in staffing shortages.

Pharmacies order the vaccines and then bill insurance companies who are supposed to reimburse them for the cost, but Kelly Fine with the Arizona Pharmacy Association said there have been issues.

“Some of the reimbursements are a lot lower than in the past which makes it difficult for companies when they’re looking at staffing to try and make sure they’re doing well as a business,” Fine told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Fine said this puts a strain on the existing employees since they’re now having to bill the insurance companies, which is a different process from prescription billing.

Since the pharmacies are not getting reimbursed what they thought they would for the vaccines, owners are having to make difficult decisions when it comes to staffing.

This contributes to the labor shortage pharmacies are seeing across the country, along with long wait times for customers.

Fine said where they’re really seeing a lack of workers is pharmacy technicians, who assist the pharmacist.

“A lot of people kind of use it as a stepping stone and aren’t seeing it as a career choice, but then if the work environment is busy that can create situations where those individuals may be seeking employment elsewhere,” Fine said.

She adds the cold and flu season is the busiest time for pharmacies and COVID-19 vaccinations and testing are increasing that seasonal stress.

Fine said she’s seen instances where pharmacies will have to close or adjust their hours due to a lack of staffing.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Murder charge in Arizona against divorce lawyer dismissed

A murder charge filed in Arizona against a California lawyer in the 2010 shooting death of his stepdaughter’s husband has been dismissed.
18 hours ago
(Pexels photo)...
KTAR.com

2-year-old girl dies after drowning incident in Phoenix

A 2-year-old girl has died after being pulled out of a pool in Phoenix on Thanksgiving day, police said.
18 hours ago
(The Pick Lottery Photo)...
KTAR.com

The Pick lottery ticket sold at Walmart in Surprise hits $8.8 million jackpot

If you bought a ticket for Wednesday night's The Pick lottery drawing in the West Valley, you'll want to check those numbers.
18 hours ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
KTAR.com

Police investigate death of 27-year-old man found in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a 27-year-old man found in Phoenix Thursday morning.
18 hours ago
FILE - Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a cooler before being thawed at a pop-u...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 3,322 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths on Friday

Arizona health officials on Friday reported 3,322 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths.
18 hours ago
(Courtesy photos L-R: Phoenix Zoo, CityScape Phoenix, Downtown Tempe Authority, Valley Metro)...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for Nov. 26-28

The holiday season is in full swing with multiple month-long events getting started across the Valley. Here are some of the biggest events around the Phoenix area.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
PNC BANK

How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
COVID vaccine reimbursement issues causing problems for Arizona pharmacies