ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 17, 2021) – The National Community Pharmacists Association is cheering new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services guidance clarifying that Medicare Part D dispensing fees can include additional costs for specialized services typically provided in the institutional care setting, such as delivery and special packaging, for enrollees with institutionalized level of care needs who are instead residing in their homes.
This is an important development for members of NCPA’s Long-Term Care Division, says Ronna Hauser, PharmD, NCPA’s senior vice president of policy and pharmacy affairs. Hauser says:
“Long-term care pharmacies regularly work with homebound patients’ care teams to provide support and services, but until now, they have been doing so without commensurate reimbursement for reasonable expenses. We’re delighted this new guidance allows for a pathway to begin recouping their costs, which can help them reach more patients who would like to receive the same valuable care in their homes that they would get in a long-term care or assisted living facility. It’s a great step forward for patients and pharmacies, and towards a system that promotes value-based patient care.”
According to the latest NCPA Digest report, sponsored by Cardinal Health, 47 percent of independent community pharmacists provided LTC services to their patients in 2020. At-home care is a growing segment of the industry that allows pharmacists to provide care for patients who would otherwise need to be placed in nursing homes. NCPA has been working with CMS for years to affect this change, which is the top priority for the NCPA LTC Division’s advocacy program. Hauser sent a letter to Amy Larrick Chavez-Valdez, director of the Medicare Drug Benefit and C and D Data Group at CMS, to applaud the guidance and thank the agency for recognizing the value of LTC pharmacy services in alternative patient settings.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing nearly 19,400 pharmacies that employ approximately 215,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.