SCPC Praises CMS Guidance Relaxing Face to Face Signature Requirement for LTC Pharmacy Medication Delivery to Nursing Homes

National Long-Term Care Pharmacy Advocacy Group Reports Compliance by CVS Caremark, Optum, ExpressScripts

Washington, DC –The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) today thanked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its March 19 guidance to prescription drug plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PDPs/PBMs) urging relaxation of face to face signature requirements for long-term care (LTC) pharmacy delivery of medication to nursing homes. 

“SCPC thanks CMS for its March 19 guidance to PDPs and PBMs,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President and CEO of SCPC. “We can now report that, based on information from our membership, CVS Caremark, Optum and ExpressScripts have notified LTC pharmacies of relaxed face-to-face signature requirements, primarily as a direct response to the guidance.”

“As the average nursing home patient requires 8-9 prescription medications a day and averages 11-13 per month, we are grateful for CMS’ efforts on this issue as seniors will continue to have ready access to the life-saving medications they require,” Rosenbloom continued. He noted a growing number of seniors will require the specialized services only LTC pharmacies provide — not just 24/7/365 medication delivery — but also effective medication management protocols that keep patients safe as they move across care settings.

Rosenbloom said SCPC remains concerned, however, that some PDPs/PBMs may not relax these requirements — such that LTC pharmacies would still have to obtain face-to-face signatures for all deliveries since it is not possible to make deliveries specific to particular PDPs/PBMs. Failure to waive this requirement would increase rather than decrease the number of deliveries and the contaminant risk of COVID-19 exposure, he said.

SCPC had requested that CMS issue clarifying guidance to specify that all PDPs/PBMs be required to relax the face-to-face signature requirement for LTC pharmacies for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

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 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.