While at the Capitol Hill Bartells on Saturday, we saw a little sign saying that they would no longer be accepting new Medicaid customers due to state budget cuts. And now we just received a news report saying that Walgreens was pulling almost half of its Washington State pharmacies out of the Medicaid program all together.
The Walgreens at 24th & Jackson is apparently on that list, which will force any Medicaid patients in the neighborhood to look elsewhere for their prescriptions.
A statement on the company’s website says that new state reimbursement rules “will significantly reduce the price it will pay for brand name medications, severely impacting the economic viability of doing business in Washington.” The rules aim to drive patients towards less expensive generic drugs to save money during the state’s multi-billion dollar budget crisis.
So without Walgreen’s & Bartells, where do you have left to get a prescription filled? We called Safeway at 22nd & Madison, and they confirmed that they are taking new Medicaid patients and have no plans to stop doing so. Definitely a hike for people on the south end of the neighborhood, but it looks like the only reasonable option for now.
I had some prescriptions filled at Walgreen’s and it was always such a hassle. Never enough staff, crappy service and endless waiting. The Madison Safeway pharmacy is way better except it’s only got one staff person so be sure to call ahead for your script, but if you have to walk in they really try to accommodate you.
Their pharmacists are super friendly and take time to make sure you get all you need. Who needs Walgreen’s? I hope they all disappear.
That store is a disaster. The aisles are always full of junk or stock. The staff is never at the register when you need to check out. It is a big hassle and a big mess every time I go in there.
The whole thing should be bull-dozed and replaced with some competent locally owned businesses.
Seriously – the pharmacists there are nice, and they are definitely willing to give all kinds of help with prescriptions. The folks in the pharmacy are always all smiles, even in the face of some pretty unpleasant stuff.
That said, it’s cruddy that Bartell’s and Walgreen’s are pulling out of the Medicaid program. And it’s even cruddier that the state is willing to cut all kinds of vital programs – including Medicaid – to avoid finding new/better sources of income (as a recent transplant, it’s been a nice change to not have to pay state income tax, but I would definitely be willing to pay it in return for social services).
I must go there at a better time of day or something, because I’ve had excellent service there. I don’t use their pharmacy, but I shop there weekly and have found great bargains and mostly friendly and competent help. They’ve gone out of their way to find advertised items that aren’t where I expect them to be, or substitute a comparable item at the sale price if they are out of the advertised product.
I was there during a robbery once, and the people outside can be a bit difficult, so visits are occasionally an adventure, but that goes with the neighborhood, not the store.
Because the stuff that “goes with the neighborhood” can be avoided by going to a different store.
If Walgreens wants my business, they can spend some effort (money) in working with security and SPD to clear out the rifraff and keep the front of the store free of creeps.