CMS decision on diabetes-testing supplies would disrupt care, members of Congress say

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several members of Congress are requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reverse a decision to prohibit independent pharmacies from delivering diabetes-testing supplies to homebound seniors.

In a letter to CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner, Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and others asked the agency to reconsider the decision, which affects Medicare Part B beneficiaries, saying it would cause disruption in care if implemented in July. Many Part B beneficiaries who need the testing supplies are homebound or in long-term care centers and may not have access to a caregiver who can pick them up at the pharmacy for them. The representatives cited a recent survey finding that 91% of all pharmacies have some form of home delivery of diabetes-testing supplies, and 45% of them deliver the supplies to assisted-living facilities.

"Community pharmacists pride themselves on the superlative level of care that they offer Medicare beneficiaries and all of their patients," CEO B. Douglas Hoey of independent pharmacy trade group the National Community Pharmacists Association said. "That superior level of service is embodied by such unique offerings such as same-day home delivery, which the vast majority of independent community pharmacies offer."

 

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