Arizona Women, Infants & Children (WIC)
Information For Physicians
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the Arizona Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) $5,046,894 to implement electronic benefit transfer (EBT). Read the Public Health Blog to learn more.
Abbott Nutritionals is reformulating three of the current contract infant formulas used by the Arizona WIC Program and ITCA WIC Program. This change affects participants receiving Similac® Sensitive®, Similac® for Spit Up, and Similac® Total Comfort™ formulas. To learn more about these changes, please see:
- Letter for Physicians
- WIC Formula Changes: Questions and Answers for Physicians
- Patient Flyer - Helping Your Baby Adjust to New Formula
Arizona WIC Formula List
The Arizona WIC Formulary is a list of the formulas allowed for Arizona WIC participants. However, please note that many of these allowed formulas require a prescription/medical documentation for issuance for special medical needs and will not be provided solely based on preference. Arizona WIC follows federally mandated cost containment contract and medical documentation procedures that are outlined below prior to any formula issuance.
- Arizona WIC Formulary Effective April 1, 2014
Medical Documentation Requirements
The United States Department of Agriculture requires the need for detailed medical documentation for formula for premature and medically fragile infants, as well as any special formula or WIC-eligible Nutritionals for participants. To help meet the needs of Arizona Physicians' and to be in compliance with the USDA, Arizona WIC has made the below form available to download.
Please contact Carrie Zavala with any questions or concerns.
Medical documentation is now required in the following situations:
- Infants receiving non-contract or special infant formula
- Infants receiving Similac Sensitive, Similac for Spit-up, or Similac Total Comfort Formulas.
- Premature infants receiving powder formula if <6 months adjusted age.
- Children and women receiving formula or WIC-eligible Nutritionals. Allowable supplemental foods must be indicated.
Medical documentation form requirements:
- Name of authorized WIC formula (infant formula, exempt formula, or WIC-eligible Nutritional) prescribed, including amount needed per day
- Qualifying condition(s) for issuance of WIC formula prescribed and/or supplemental food authorized for the participant
- Length of time the prescribed WIC formula and/or supplemental food is required by the participant
- Signature, date and contact information (or name, date and contact information if initial documentation was received by phone) of the requesting health care provider
- Name of authorized supplemental food(s) appropriate for the qualifying condition(s) and their prescribed amounts
What if my patient is a participant of both AHCCCS and WIC?
If your patient has AHCCCS healthcare coverage and is an EPSDT member who is also a WIC client, WIC is a secondary provider of specialty exempt formulas. Please submit the Exhibit 430-3 – Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System Certificate of Medical Necessity for Commercial Oral Nutritional Supplements directly to the healthcare plan for coverage of specialty exempt formulas.
What does WIC have to do with me as a healthcare provider/clinician?
- WIC can give patients nutrition counseling and free nutritious foods at critical periods of growth and development.
- WIC counts on clinicians to provide medical information on women and children at risk and to help eligible people know about WIC services.
- Please refer your patients to WIC! WIC wants to serve every eligible person.
WIC appreciates the support received from clinicians and is always open to ways to improve collaboration with you!
How can I help my patients receive WIC benefits?
- Make it routine! Put a WIC brochure in every new-patient packet.
- Mention WIC to everyone. Tell your patients that WIC is a health and nutrition program and encourage them to call a local WIC program or 1-800-2525-WIC.
- Give your patients a complete Medical Referral Form. This helps WIC identify the medical or nutritional risk factor(s) needed for enrollment.
- Display WIC posters and brochures in your office in the languages your patients speak.
Why does the Arizona WIC Program encourage the use of certain infant formula?
Arizona WIC entered into an agreement with Abbott Laboratories (Ross Products Division) and Mead Johnson to provide Similac Advance with Iron, Similac Sensitive, Similac for Spit-Up, Similac Total Comfort, and Enfamil Prosobee as the sole source milk-based and soy-based formulas for WIC participants. Of note, Similac Advance and Enfamil Prosobee are the only formulas available to participants without a prescription.
The agreement is a federally mandated cost containment system. It provides a savings to the Arizona WIC Program. This savings allows the Arizona WIC Program to serve additional case load with the WIC grant.
In accordance with federal regulations, WIC-eligible formulas are mainly issued in powdered forms. The issuance of a ready-to-feed formula is limited to exceptions when there is an unsanitary or restricted water supply, there is poor refrigeration, the infant caretaker has difficulty preparing formula, the ready to feed form better accommodates the participants condition, or the product is available in only a ready-to-feed form.
How can a special formula be prescribed for a WIC participant?
A WIC participant who is prescribed any formula other than Similac Advance or Enfamil Prosobee must have a completed prescription. It must include the participant's name, diagnosis, formula prescribed, and original signature/date. The form may either be returned to the participant to give to WIC staff or faxed directly to the WIC clinic.
Why does the Arizona WIC Program not allow cow's milk for WIC participants until one year of age?
The Arizona WIC Program does not allow cow's milk before the age of one. The Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the consumption of breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula, along with age-appropriate solid foods and juices, during the first twelve months of life. The AAP recommends that whole cow's milk and low-iron formulas not be used during the first year of life (AAP, The Use of Whole Cow's Milk in Infancy, Pediatrics, 1992, 89:1105-1109).
Please visit our food package page for more information on the exciting changes to the WIC food packages.
Additional information for healthcare providers/clinicians:
- IOM's 2009 report, "Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines"
- Dietary recommendations for children and adolescents
- AAP policy on breastfeeding
- Formula Changes and Updates May 2010:
- Updated Information on Bisphenol-A (BPA)
Note: Files are PDF format unless otherwise stated.