SCPC Praises CMS Recognition of Unique Characteristics of LTC Patient Population

WASHINGTONApril 10, 2018 — Commenting broadly on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Final Rule modifying Medicare Part D regulations as well as the Final Part D Call Letter for 2019, the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) praised the agency for its recognition of the unique needs of long-term care (LTC) patients, and the stringent safeguards employed by LTC pharmacies in the context of opioid control and distribution.

“We are particularly gratified that the agency modified opioid control provisions based on the unique characteristics of long-term care patients and the heightened controls that long-term care pharmacies provide,” stated Alan G. Rosenbloom, President and CEO of the SCPC, the only Washington-based organization exclusively representing the interests of long-term care (LTC) pharmacies and the patients they serve.

Rosenbloom said that while other provisions do not appropriately distinguish between long-term care settings and community settings — which threaten continuity of care for Medicare beneficiaries — the overall changes help set the stage for a subsequent policy discussion surrounding the need to establish a specific federal definition of LTC pharmacies.

“SCPC is pleased that the regulatory community, as well as Congress, is increasingly aware of the significant structural and operational differences between LTC pharmacies and retail pharmacies,” Rosenbloom continued. “It is important to specifically codify these differences for the benefit of patients, the broader health community and taxpayers. We look forward to sustaining this policy discussion thorough 2018.”

The SCPC President and CEO also said the LTC pharmacy advocacy group appreciates CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s consideration of inappropriate fees and other payment adjustments that Part D Plans and their affiliated pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) unjustifiability impose on long-term care pharmacies.

“These practices increase drug costs for beneficiaries and the Medicare program, and we look forward to the Trump Administration’s anticipated plan to respond to high drug prices.”

###

The SCPC is the national association for independent LTC pharmacies. Our member pharmacies provide care and services to patients in LTC facilities across the country occupying approximately 750,000 beds. Visit seniorcarepharmacies.org  to learn more.