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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended seven U.S. Representatives for recently writing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to urge the agency to allow independent community pharmacists to continue same-day home delivery of diabetes test supplies to certain Medicare beneficiaries.
Under current policy scheduled to take effect July 2013, many community pharmacists would effectively be prohibited from delivering these essential medical products to patients who are homebound, or in assisted living communities. The ban on deliveries is a provision included in CMS’ competitive bidding policy for diabetes test supplies.
“When implemented, this policy will cause disruption in the care provided to Medicare patients,” the representatives wrote. “We know that many Medicare Part B beneficiaries that are in need of DTS are homebound and may not have a caregiver available to pick up DTS from the local independent pharmacy.”
They added, “In our view, this delivery prohibition could result in serious health consequences for Medicare patients and will help drive up costs. We ask that you review this policy expeditiously.”
The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill.; Peter Welch, D-Vt.; Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.; Morgan Griffith, R-Va.; Brett Guthrie R-Ky.; Tom Marino, R-Pa.; and Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y.
“These lawmakers are absolutely justified in their concern for seniors and the independent pharmacists who care for them. We appreciate their bringing this issue to CMS’ attention,” stated NCPA CEO Douglas Hoey. “Pharmacists help reduce healthcare costs for patients managing diabetes by mitigating the chances for more expensive treatments and interventions, such as hospitalizations. We hope that, through administrative or legislative action, independent community pharmacists can continue providing same-day home delivery to these most vulnerable of patients.”