ASCP, NCPA applaud CMS decision to delay short-cycle dispensing

April 12, 2011

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently decided to delay implementation of its proposed long-term-care ?short-cycle dispensing? rule and ease requirements for pharmacists.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently decided to delay implementation of its proposed long-term-care (LTC) “short-cycle dispensing” rule and ease requirements for pharmacists.

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), the National Community Pharmacists Association, and other groups praised CMS for making changes to the rule and extending its implementation date from January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2013.

“[T]his window gives independent pharmacies and other long-term-care providers additional time to make the considerable changes in workflow and staffing that may be necessary,” said Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, the new CEO and executive vice president of NCPA. NCPA is also urging CMS to seek high-quality, unbiased data in order to fully evaluate the cost impact of the short-cycle rule before moving forward with the plan.

In the final rule issued by CMS, the agency eased its rules on how LTC pharmacies account for medications that are dispensed but unused.

“CMS eliminated a requirement for LTC pharmacies to return unused drugs to the pharmacy for disposition, although it will still require reporting on these unused drugs to Part D sponsors,” said a statement from ASCP.

In addition, CMS shifted its proposed requirement that LTC pharmacies dispense solid oral doses of brand-name medication in 7-day (or less) supplies to 14-day (or less) supplies.

“ASCP is pleased that CMS listened to health professionals and came to a conclusion that protects patients and allows pharmacies to make sound business decisions,” said Albert Barber, PharmD, CGP, FASCP, president of ASCP.