First and foremost, this bill as well as others supported by the voice of community pharmacy — the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacy Association — stand as testimony to the overarching value pharmacy brings in the delivery of America’s healthcare.
That’s because perhaps the biggest issue in all of this, especially for chain retailers, is the availability of diabetes supplies — among the highest categories of Medicare DME spending — to Medicare recipients. The per-store investment in securing and maintaining accreditation coupled with a requirement that each pharmacy post a $50,000 surety bond is expected to push many pharmacy participants, both large and small, out of the margin-tight business altogether, a factor that could limit local availability of DME supplies for those covered by Medicare.
And time plays a critical factor because pharmacies are currently operating under a Sept. 30 deadline for DMEPOS accreditation, and it could take as long as six months to complete that process. And that means something needs to be decided by the end of this month.