ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores released a statement today praising the introduction of legislation that will delay and reform Medicare’s competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies.
H.R. 6252, the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Acquisition Reform Act of 2008, was introduced Thursday by House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark, D-Calif. and Health Subcommittee Ranking Member Dave Camp, R-Mich., along with original cosponsors Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
According to NACDS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has excluded diabetic supplies sold at retail pharmacies from the competitive bidding program in part because of the unique nature of this disease and its impact on beneficiaries. While providing meaningful safeguards and enhancement to the program, the sponsors of the bill rejected harmful proposals to freeze and/or cut the fee schedule for these products or expand competitive bidding to include diabetic products sold at retail pharmacies.
In a letter to the bill’s sponsors, NACDS declared its strong support for the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Acquisition Reform Act. “We thank Chairman Stark, Ranking Member Camp, and all the bill’s cosponsors for siding with Medicare beneficiaries and recognizing that interaction with pharmacists is critical in proper diabetes management,” said NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “H.R. 6252 will ensure that suppliers are treated more fairly and that beneficiaries continue to have access to necessary items and services.”