CHAIN DRUG STORES WARN AGAINST COMPETITIVE BIDS FOR DMEPOS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A spokesman for the NationalAssociation of Chain Drug Stores(NACDS) raised troubling concernsto Congress about a new competitivebidding program for DurableMedical Equipment, Prosthetics,Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS)being implemented by federal officials.

In testimony before the USHouse of Representatives SmallBusiness Subcommittee on Investigationsand Oversight, NavarroDiscount Pharmacies former ChiefExecutive Officer Jose Navarrowarned that the new system couldchase drug stores away from theprogram.

?Retail pharmacies are thelargest providers of DMEPOS servicesto Medicare patients and arein a unique position to monitortrends in diseases and therapy outcomes,?said Navarro. ?But some ofthe provisions of the competitiveacquisition program and otherrules proposed by the Centers forMedicare & Medicaid Services(CMS) for DMEPOS suppliers couldprevent pharmacies from effectivelyserving their Medicare patients.?

According to the NACDS, ?thecompetitive acquisition program?sonerous requirements, such asaccreditation of pharmacies, andthe CMS-proposed $65,000 suretybond requirement for all DMEPOSsuppliers, create significant administrativeand financial burdens onpharmacies.?

Worse yet, plans to expand thisprogram to establish national orregional competitive bidding areasfor mail-order suppliers ?could significantlylimit participation in theprogram by small pharmacies andreduce patient access to neededDMEPOS items,? warned the association.