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NCPA urges Medicare to extend DMEPOS accreditation deadline


ALEXANDRIA, Va. With Jan. 1 fast approaching and Congress still debating healthcare-reform legislation, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday sent a letter to the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking the agency to delay the accreditation deadline for Medicare Part B durable medical equipment, orthotics, prosthetics and supplies, or to at least suspend enforcement.

In October, Congress passed legislation extending the accreditation deadline to Jan. 1. The bill also granted CMS the authority to further delay the deadline.

Seventeen other medical providers are already exempted from the regulation and there’s bipartisan support for exempting pharmacists as part of healthcare reform, NCPA noted.

“CMS has the power and should use it to prevent a sudden disruption of seniors’ ability to continue purchasing medical supplies at their nearby community pharmacy,” stated Bruce Roberts, NCPA EVP and CEO. “Congress has shown a willingness to fix the problem of pharmacists not being exempted from this onerous, expensive and redundant requirement, but that legislative solution will not occur in time. By exercising discretion, CMS will follow one of the basic principles of medicine and government — first, do no harm,” he said.

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