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NACDS applauds state Medicaid assistance bill, DME accreditation provision

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores lauded two bills that seek to increase federal funding assistance for state Medicaid programs for six months and would remedy accreditation requirements for pharmacies providing durable medical equipment through Medicare, respectively.

In a letter to Senate Health Care Subcommittee chairman John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., NACDS is hoping the legislation will be included as an amendment to healthcare reform. Rockefeller’s bill would extend until June 2011 the temporary increase in the federal medical assistance percentage that originally was included in 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“NACDS emphasizes the importance of patients’ taking their medications appropriately. Extending the current FMAP increase means states are less likely to cut their Medicaid program benefits and jeopardize the ability of our most vulnerable patients to stay on their medication therapies,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.

NACDS also has been working to address the Medicare accreditation and surety bond requirements for pharmacies providing DME. A provision in the Democratic Senate jobs bill would provide relief from the accreditation requirements.

“As the face of neighborhood health care, pharmacies should not be subject to duplicative, unnecessary requirements that have the effect of reducing DME access for patients,” Anderson said. “This issue was among the most frequently raised topics at the NACDS Regional Chain Conference this week, and it remains a top priority for this association.”

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