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NCPA Statement Endorsing H.R. 6252 and S.3144
Date:6/19/2008

Companion Bills Delay and Fix Competitive Bidding System for DMEPOS Equipment

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), chair of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, recently introduced H.R. 6252, the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Acquisition Reform Act of 2008. Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, have introduced S.3144, the companion bill. In response, Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), issued the following statement:

"America's community pharmacies are well known for offering patient access to medical equipment and personalized diabetes management - the very tools that improve the quality of life for patients. The introduction of these two bills will provide solutions for CMS' flawed competitive bidding system and will help community pharmacies keep medical equipment such as prosthetics, orthotics and supplies available in their stores. On behalf of community pharmacies and the patients they serve, I want to thank Congressman Stark and Senators Baucus and Grassley for their strong leadership on this important health issue."

Highlights of H.R. 6252/S.3144:

-- Terminates current Round 1 contracts. Hidden List

-- Round 1 would then be re-bid and take effect within 18-24 months, and

Round 2 cannot take effect until Jan 2011.

-- Initial reduction in fees to suppliers of the 10 product categories in

the first round. Hidden List

-- Recognition of inflation in the fee payments to suppliers for all

products, including Round 1 products after the first year.

-- Exempts rural areas for five years.

-- Reforms the bidding process by mandating that CMS alert bidders of

paperwork problems.

-- Allows them to correct errors; and allows HHS to subdivide MSAs

(Metropolitan Statistical Area) larger than 8 million. Hidden List

The National Community Pharmacists Association, founded in 1898, represents the nation's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 pharmacies. The nation's independent pharmacies, independent pharmacy franchises, and independent chains dispense nearly half of the nation's retail prescription medicines. To learn more go to http://www.ncpanet.org.


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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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