NACDS, NCPA ask Congress to exempt retail pharmacies from Medicare's DME competitive bidding process

May 9, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association today urged Congress to allow retail pharmacies to continue providing diabetes testing supplies.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today urged Congress to allow retail pharmacies to continue providing diabetes testing supplies.

The organizations submitted comments to the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, urging the Congressional representatives to exempt retail pharmacies from the Medicare durable medical equipment (DME) competitive bidding program. “This reimbursement reduction would hurt access to care and severely limit the valuable role of pharmacist-patient interactions in reducing overall program spending,” according to NACDS’s written comments.

NCPA also endorsed the Medicare Access to Diabetes Supplies Act (H.R. 1936), which would allow seniors to continue receiving diabetes testing supplies from independent community pharmacists. The bi-partisan bill would permanently exempt diabetes testing supplies furnished by small community pharmacies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) competitive bidding program and pricing for Medicare Part B DMEPOS (durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies).

In its comments, NACDS also urged alternative cost-saving approaches for the Medicare program, including moving diabetic testing supplies from Part B to Part D. “Diabetes supplies should be covered through the Part D benefit. This would mirror commercial practices [and] would allow beneficiaries with diabetes to access necessary medications and supplies from the same provider if they choose…” according to the NACDS comments.