NCPA: Congress' 'fiscal cliff' bill could force independents out of Medicare diabetes business

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — While the "fiscal cliff" bill heads off the most severe tax implications for most Americans, the 25.8 million Americans with diabetes may find this bill a bitter pill to swallow, suggested the National Community Pharmacists Association in a press release issued Wednesday. 

“NCPA strongly opposes language in the legislation that would effectively force many community pharmacists to stop providing diabetes test supplies to Medicare beneficiaries," noted John Coster, SVP government affairs NCPA. "The bill would do this by applying DTS reimbursement rates to local pharmacies that are effectively set by large mail order operations," he said. "NCPA has repeatedly outlined to Congress and Medicare officials the shortcomings in such an approach. Round one of the competitive bid program has validated NCPA’s concerns, including waste in mail order and patients’ strong preference for a face-to-face health care experience with a local provider."

NCPA lobbied Congress to amend the legislation exempting independent pharmacies. 

Not all of the bill is bad, however, NCPA noted. "We commend the temporary delay in the cuts to Medicare and the TRICARE program," Coster said. "In addition, the bill features tax provisions that, when compared to the policies that would otherwise take effect in 2013, would make it easier for family-owned independent community pharmacies to be passed from one generation to the next to continue serving their patients and contributing to their local economies."



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