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NACDS highlights Rx concerns in federal budget
February 18th, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In a letter to congressional leaders, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores called attention to areas of President Barack Obama's fiscal 2011 budget proposal that relate directly to community pharmacy's health care efforts.
The letter by NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson, sent Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), urged Congress to focus on medication adherence, pharmacy access and methamphetamine abuse prevention, among its funding priorities.
"We are committed to working with Congress and the Obama administration to advance a budget that meets the health care needs of our nation's citizens and provides opportunities to expand the role of neighborhood pharmacies as health care providers," Anderson wrote.
NACDS emphasized the following points in the letter:
• The need to extend the currently in-place increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), which provides federal funding for state Medicaid programs.
• The opportunities to use pharmacy services to help patients take their medications appropriately, as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's proposed Big Cities initiative targeting chronic diseases.
"We believe that community pharmacy’s ability to help patients manage their chronic conditions by improving medication adherence should be considered as a component to this initiative," Anderson wrote.
• NACDS' support for the president's proposal to increase funding for Drug Enforcement Administration staffing to battle methamphetamine abuse.
• The need to include antifraud, waste and abuse programs in Medicare and Medicaid that are targeted to high-risk areas, as opposed to counterproductive measures such as the "one-size-fits-all" surety bond and accreditation requirements for providers of durable medical equipment under Medicare.
"For example, as funding is increased to permit CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] to expand its audit activities, we ask that the agency be mindful of the administrative burdens it poses on providers," Anderson noted in the letter. "As new initiatives are developed, we urge policymakers to engage the provider community in order to limit these burdens as well as beneficiary disruptions to healthcare products and services."