Retail News Breaks Archives
As reform bills take shape, NACDS reiterates key Rx issues
October 8th, 2009
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – With lawmakers set to coalesce health care reform proposals, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores this week sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to ensure that pro-patient and pro-pharmacy provisions remain in the final legislation.
NACDS said the Senate is starting the process of reconciling the health reform bills from the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions’ (HELP) and Finance committees.
The letter — addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) and HELP Committee chairman Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) — spotlights what chain drug retailers see as key elements of reform legislation to help rein in the costs and improve the quality of pharmacy and related health care services, as well as patient access and health outcomes.
"The NACDS membership identified several key priorities for health care reform, and the Senate legislative proposals include many of them," the letter states. "Most notably, the bills reform Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement for generic drugs, help to maintain access to durable medical equipment for Medicare beneficiaries, and expand the use of medication therapy management in our health care delivery system.
"We appreciate the inclusion of these provisions and believe that they are critical
components of any healthcare reform legislation," the letter added.
NACDS reiterated its support for a reformed Medicaid reimbursement rate for generic medications that is accurate and applauded the Senate for incorporating patient- and pharmacy-friendly provisions in the reform bills, including a modification of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations on pharmacies that sell durable medical equipment (DME), and support for enhanced access to pharmacist-provided medication therapy management (MTM) services in a number of delivery system reform provisions.
"We are committed to advancing health care reform legislation that meets the needs
of our member companies and the patients they serve. We look forward to working with
you in the weeks and months ahead to make the necessary reforms to our nation’s
health care system," the letter concludes.