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NCPA makes recommendations for the Affordable Health Choices Act


ALEXANDRIA, Va. An organization representing the country’s independent pharmacies has sent a list of recommendations for healthcare reform to the chairman of the Senate’s healthcare committee.

The National Community Pharmacists Association announced Tuesday that its EVP and CEO Bruce Roberts had sent a letter with five specific recommendations for the Affordable Health Choices Act to Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The recommendations address grants establishing community health teams supporting a medical home model, grants for medication management services to treat chronic disease, requirements for pharmacies to provide health insurance, pharmacy exemption for durable medical equipment accreditation and features of the public health plan option.

Roberts wrote that the NCPA supports the requirement that community health teams provide patients with access to pharmacist-delivered medication management therapies in the medical home model provision.

“NCPA believes that pharmacists’ services should be an integral part of a patient’s medical home because prescription medications are the primary medical intervention used to improve health and quality of life,” Roberts wrote.

The letter expressed support for the law’s proposed establishment of a grant program for medication therapy management and exemptions for pharmacies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ durable medical equipment accreditation requirements, which they must fulfill in order to sell diabetes-testing supplies. On the other hand, it asked the committee to consider that small businesses with highly trained professionals, such as pharmacies, have higher-than-average salaries as it decided on an annual salary phase out for tax incentives to provide health insurance. It also emphasized its preference that the drug benefit component of any public plan be administered by a pharmacy benefits administrator rather than a pharmacy benefits manager.

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