Pharmacy Groups Urge CMS to Reimburse for Medical at Home Services

July 7, 2020

A group of pharmacies and pharmacy organizations urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to formally recognize and promote medical at home pharmacy services for long-term care.

A group of pharmacies and pharmacy organizations urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to formally recognize and promote medical at home pharmacy services for long-term care (LTC)—particularly in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“With medical at home pharmacy services being needed now more than ever due to the coronavirus public health emergency, long-term care pharmacy stakeholders are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to formally recognize and promote these services to help improve value-based patient care, increase savings, and ensure pharmacy providers are fairly and properly reimbursed,” NCPA said in a press release.1

In addition to NCPA, Independent Pharmacy Alliance, American Pharmacy Cooperative, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, Thrifty White Pharmacy, Smith Drug Company, and numerous other pharmacies, drug distributors, and organizations signed the July 2 letter to CMS.2

“This demand for at-home care was on the rise before the deadly coronavirus outbreaks in LTC facilities across the country,” they wrote.
“Looking beyond the pandemic, demand will only continue increasing as seniors who need specialized care continue to socially distance due to their increased risks and vulnerabilities.”

In order to “meaningfully address” the increasing aging population with long-term and complex health care needs and those who require assistance with activities of daily living—particularly during the COVID-19 crisis—the groups said CMS should issue guidance formally recognizing these services at the same level as other LTC services.

“Due to the risks our members’ patients may experience leaving their homes at this time, and the immediate need to keep these seniors out of LTC facilities, medical at home pharmacy services can significantly fill these gaps. However, LTC pharmacies and pharmacists need CMS to formally recognize these services at the same level as other LTC services,” the groups wrote.

References

1. Stakeholders to CMS: COVID-19 pandemic underscores urgent need for medical at home pharmacy services. Press release. NCPA: July 7, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://ncpa.org/newsroom/news-releases/2020/07/07/stakeholders-cms-covid-19-pandemic-underscores-urgent-need

2. Increasing need for medical at home pharmacy services during COVID-19. Letter. July 2, 2020. Accessed July 7, 2020. https://ncpa.org/sites/default/files/2020-07/joint-cms-letter-re-covid-medical-at-home.pdf