NCPA continues fight against surety bond

July 29, 2009

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is still working to urge Congress to exempt community pharmacies from the Oct. 1 accreditation and surety bond requirements needed to continue providing durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) to Medicare patients.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is still working to urge Congress to exempt community pharmacies from the Oct. 1 accreditation and surety bond requirements needed to continue providing durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) to Medicare patients. NCPA’s effort has drawn the attention of other associations that have signed on to help.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), National Rural Health Association (NRHA), American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), and the Diabetes Access to Care Coalition (DACC) have all sent letters to the Senate and House committees of jurisdiction supporting accreditation exemption bills.

Also, House Democratic leaders have included similar provisions in their healthcare reform bill H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Care Choice of 2009. And key U.S. lawmakers have written to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking that pharmacies be exempted.

 “The DME accreditation and surety bond requirement deadlines are fast approaching, and for patients who depend on supplies such as diabetes test strips, this is problematic,” said Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, NCPA executive vice president and CEO. “The reason is many community pharmacies might stop selling these supplies, which complement the medications patients get from their stores. In underserved communities the ensuing access problems could be even more acute.”

Other healthcare providers have already been exempted from these redundant, cost-prohibitive, and time-consuming regulations that are designed to prevent fraud by Medicare Part B suppliers. No evidence has been brought forward to suggest that pharmacists have engaged in any illegal behavior.