NCPA reaches out to CMS regarding violations of 'prompt pay' provisions

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to instruct Medicare Part D plan providers to stop the “improper and illegal imposition of extraneous fees and charges on Part D network pharmacies.”

The letter states that many Part D plans are “finding ways to charge new fees to pharmacies, seemingly as a means of financially recouping the loss from the ‘float’ they enjoyed from holding onto pharmacies’ money for long periods.” NCPA said this has occurred since new “prompt pay” provisions took effect Jan. 1 and that community pharmacies have reported several additional fees and failures put forth by these providers as a way to "circumvent the intent" of the new provisions.

“This year community pharmacies have seen a flurry of unexpected, dubious, additional fees and charges from a number of Medicare Part D plans that appear to violate federal prompt pay requirements,” said Bruce Roberts, NCPA EVP and CEO. “It’s imperative that CMS use its authority to end these practices that fly in the face of Congress’ original intent behind the legislation.”

“We appreciate those plans that have taken steps to comply with both the spirit and the letter of the prompt pay law,” Roberts added. “Unfortunately, other Part D plans seem to be using financial gimmicks to further line their pockets at the expense of community pharmacies already grappling with declining reimbursements.”

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