Long-Term Care Pharmacy CEOs Urge Sec. Becerra to Release Provider Relief Fund Dollars, Prioritize LTC Pharmacies
Washington, DC – Today, CEOs from long-term care (LTC) pharmacies across the nation – all members of the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) – sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to release the next distribution from the Provider Relief Fund immediately and to prioritize relief for LTC pharmacies as part of that distribution. In addition, SCPC President and CEO Alan Rosenbloom offered the following statement:
“Today, the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) joins LTC pharmacy CEOs to demand painfully needed relief now. LTC pharmacies have gone above and beyond throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by administering COVID-19 vaccines to residents and staff while providing uninterrupted prescription drugs and patient care services to seniors and younger adults with disabilities living in LTC facilities and other congregate settings. The Provider Relief Fund (PRF) was created to provide necessary financial relief to health care providers hit hard by the pandemic. However, LTC pharmacies largely have been excluded from relief so far.
“HHS did not acknowledge that LTC pharmacies are eligible for Provider Relief Fund assistance until April 2021, more than five months after the last application period for relief closed in November 2020. It would be unconscionable if HHS did not give LTC pharmacies the opportunity to apply for relief since they did not have a clear path to relief during any of the application periods in 2020 and there have been no open application periods since President Biden took office.
“Despite higher operating costs for personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, and other COVID-19 safety requirements, as well as significant and continuing revenue losses, LTC pharmacies have remained steadfast in providing direct care services to LTC facility residents and their families. This population typically requires 12-13 medications daily to maintain quality of life, demonstrating the incredible need for LTC pharmacies. What’s more, now the federal government is relying on LTC pharmacies to assure that residents receive timely COVID-19 vaccine boosters for less than the costs of delivering and administering those vaccines.
“In coordination with nearly a dozen LTC pharmacy CEOs, SCPC calls on Secretary Becerra to provide LTC pharmacies fair and a proportionate amount of relief now. Anything less could inhibit LTC pharmacies’ ability to provide life-saving care, including vaccine boosters for residents and important medication management care and services.”
The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) is the only national organization exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies. Its members operate in all 50 states and serve 850,000 patients daily in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the country. Visit seniorcarepharmacies.org to learn more.
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