Reps urge CMS to keep diabetes supplies offered by retailers separate from Medicare mail-order pricing program

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.; Zack Space, D-Ohio; Lee Terry, R-Neb.; and Peter Welch, D-Vt., have sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommending CMS keep prices for its national competitive bidding program for Medicare Part B mail-order diabetes testing supplies separate from similar supplies offered by retail pharmacies, the National Community Pharmacists Association announced Thursday.

The representatives argued that retail pharmacy, especially independent community pharmacies that traditionally are located in underserved areas, would incur significant financial losses under any sort of CBP pricing model that could force pharmacies to stop selling DTS to seniors. So while CMS presently has exempted retail pharmacy from the CBP requirement, the lack of clarification about how and when future CBP pricing might be applied to retail pharmacy “is worrisome and needs to be prevented.”

"We commend Reps. Rogers, Space, Terry and Welch for their leadership and foresight in heading off a potential problem that could see millions of seniors lose access to diabetes testing supplies at their local pharmacies," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA acting EVP and CEO. "This is not only a matter of convenience but [also] of adherence, as pharmacists have the expertise to ensure the supplies are being used correctly. Planning for future contingencies is what every successful entrepreneur faces, and that is why this full court press to garner an ironclad commitment from CMS is occurring. CMS must keep mail-order and pharmacy pricing separate."

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