NACDS urges fairness on HITECH and diabetes supplies

February 8, 2011

NACDS is urging Congress to make several federal regulations economically viable for retail community pharmacists.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is urging Congress to make several federal regulations economically viable for retail community pharmacists.

In a letter to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, NACDS President and CEO Steve Anderson said Congress should make changes to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, Medicare Provider Enrollment rules, and competitive bidding exemptions for the Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies (DMEPOS) program.

“Whether it is an upgrade of technology, additional resources, or administrative burdens, these regulations are not pro-patient, pro-pharmacy policies,” said Chrissy Kopple, vice president of media relations for NACDS.

For example, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has excluded retail pharmacies from its Competitive Bidding Program for DMEPOS, including diabetes testing supplies that patients purchase through mail order. NACDS contends that retail pharmacies should continue to be exempt from competitive bidding for diabetes testing supplies.

“We think patients’ continuing to be able to access these testing supplies from their local pharmacy - the same pharmacy where they are receiving their prescription medications - is a critical element of coordinated care,” Kopple said.

Anderson also criticized HITECH Act requirements that expand the accounting of patient-information disclosures to include all disclosures, even daily routine disclosures. “If this expansion of the accounting requirement were to be imposed on pharmacies, it would cause chain pharmacies to have to completely replace their existing information technology systems nationwide,” Anderson wrote.