DMEPOS accreditation requirements threaten the availability across several durable medical equipment categories at the pharmacy level, including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, portable commodes, compression hose, mastectomy prosthetics, neck and body orthotics and wound care, among other products and services.
That’s because securing DMEPOS accreditation represents a significant hurdle that grows exponentially in conjunction with the store base. Accreditation fees, training and implementation costs are projected to total at least $5,000 to $7,000 per store over three years, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association. And even though larger chains will be able to spread those costs across their store bases, it’s still going to push a lot of operators crunching the return-on-investment numbers to ask the question, “Why are we even in this business?”
Sales of DMEPOS products comprise between 6% and 8% of an average independent pharmacy’s annual sales — or anywhere from $216,000 to $288,000 per store — NCPA noted, which suggests that many independents and small chains may be more inclined to shutter their doors altogether.
For consumers, the DMEPOS accreditation requirements for pharmacy operators threaten convenient access to those needed supplies, especially in rural areas.
According to a study conducted by HealthPolicy R&D, retail pharmacies are the largest providers of DMEPOS services to Medicare patients.