Pharmacies Seek Another Accreditation Delay

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is asking the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to further postpone the accreditation deadline for pharmacies selling DME to Medicare beneficiaries.

That deadline has already been pushed off once, when the October 2009 accreditation date that applied to DME and complex rehab suppliers was postponed for pharmacies following heavy lobbying. Pharmacies were given till Jan. 1, 2010, to become accredited if they want to continue selling DME.

Now, in a Dec. 21 letter to CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera, NCPA is asking for another extension.

In a news release that accompanied the letter, NCPA Executive VP/CEO Bruce T. Roberts said, “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. 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.”

Roberts added that health-care reform currently being debated in Congress could soon entirely exempt pharmacies from the accreditation requirement.

“Why penalize patients whose pharmacists are not accredited when they could soon be exempted from the regulation?” Roberts asked.

NCPA represents the country’s community pharmacies, including independent pharmacies.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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