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Proposed CMS Changes Related to Consultant Pharmacists Raise Profound Concerns for Pharmacies

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Long Term Care Pharmacy Alliance (LTCPA) is carefully reviewing a recent proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding potential changes to the independence of consultant pharmacists as a consideration of the Conditions of Participation for Long Term Care Facilities in the Medicare program.

Our member companies and individual pharmacists have expressed sincere concern with CMS' apparent failure to recognize long-term care pharmacies' and pharmacists' role in providing appropriate, patient-centered, cost-effective care to nursing home residents in its Guidance. In fact, CMS made numerous negative inferences in its Guidance concerning LTC pharmacies and pharmacists' behavior without the presentation of any data to substantiate these inferences or claims.

LTCPA was disappointed that the proposal from CMS noted without sufficient explanation that long term care pharmacies' costs exceed those of retail. It has been well documented and broadly understood that prescription costs in long term care are legitimately higher than retail due to the unique elderly population as well as specialized packaging, 24 hour service and multiple daily deliveries.  

In order to address the legitimate concerns raised by CMS regarding the role of consulting pharmacists in the long–term care setting, LTCPA supports an evidence-based review of trends in prescription drug utilization and therapeutic interchange among states that require a separate business relationship between the consultant pharmacist and pharmacy provider and those states that do not.

LTCPA looks forward to working with CMS to analyze the implications of these proposed changes to patients and providers of long term care and remains committed to informing policy makers about the important role that long term care pharmacies play in ensuring the safe and efficient distribution of medication to nursing home residents.

LTCPA membership is comprised of two national chain-based LTC pharmacy providers, Omnicare and PharMerica, in addition to approximately 900 independent LTC pharmacies that together serve 1.8 million Medicare Part D beneficiaries, or ninety percent of all LTC facility residents.

SOURCE Long Term Care Pharmacy Alliance (LTCPA)
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