Rep. Kustoff meets with healthcare provider in Hub City

JACKSON, Tenn. — A congressman representative met with a local pharmacy owner in Hub City Friday morning to discuss healthcare issues.

Congressman Representative David Kustoff has spent the past week traveling across Tennessee to better understand the problems that local healthcare providers are facing.

On Friday morning, he spoke with employees at a local independent pharmacy about rising healthcare costs and the opioid crisis.

“How are patients today coping with rising co-pays, access to medication,” Kustoff said.

Matt Baker, owner of Health Care Pharmacy, spoke to Kustoff about fees from insurance companies and how they’re hurting businesses like his.

“We can take things off of insurance, save the patient money, whereas the chains cannot,” Baker said. “The fees are really taking a toll on the patients. You’re overcharging the patient up front, whereas if I knew what I was getting paid at the point of sale, I could save the patient money.”

Kustoff also spoke about the opioid crisis and how pharmacies are combating it, thanks to recent laws.

“Where they may have in the past written a prescription for 10 pills or 30 pills, now they may be cutting back to three to five,” Kustoff said.

“I would say it has definitely helped curb the prescriptions coming out of the ER and the dentist,” Baker said.

Kustoff also mentioned his piece of legislation called the “STEER Act,” which targets pill presses and medication on the street.

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