Alexandria, Va. - Oct. 4, 2010
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today announced a new division of the association dedicated to advancing the interests of independent long-term care pharmacy providers.
"NCPA is recognized as the advocate for independent community pharmacies and their patients," said Joseph H. Harmison, PD, NCPA president and pharmacy owner in Arlington, TX. "We successfully fought for their interests on issues like scaling back major cuts in Medicaid generic drug reimbursement and ensuring prompt payment for retail pharmacies from Medicare Part D plans. Now, we're enhancing our LTC efforts to provide focused advocacy for independent LTC pharmacies."
Harmison added, "Independent LTC pharmacy providers' interests do not always align with publicly traded competitors in this space. Policy discussions are sometimes dominated by giant long-term care corporations. With the launch of this new division, that is no longer the case. NCPA looks forward to advocating for and partnering with independent LTC pharmacies through this initiative."
To help realize the vision of NCPA's LTC Division, the association has increased its capabilities by adding staff and providing resources that target legislative and regulatory issues faced by pharmacies servicing LTC facilities. The association hired Susan Janeczko, Pharm.D., as Director of Long-Term Care Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Janeczko came to NCPA from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) where she was the lead clinician working on the Medicare.gov website.
Under Janeczko's direction, the group plans to continue and expand recent LTC advocacy efforts including: providing a community pharmacy perspective to CMS on the potential impacts of proposed short-cycle dispensing rules; working to find a compromise on the LTC nurse-as-agent issue that ensures patients get needed medications in a timely manner; and submitting recommendations to ensure the smooth implementation of e-prescribing rules in LTC settings.
In addition, the association is closely monitoring other matters impacting LTC pharmacies such as Medicare Part B DME MAC recoupment efforts to help ensure that any government actions to resolve pending financial matters find their intended targets (Medicare Advantage and Home Health Agencies in this case), and not independent community pharmacies.
For more information and to sign up for timely regulatory and compliance updates and other benefits, interested pharmacists can visit the new LTC website, www.ncpaltc.org. During this initial "preview" period, access to the site will be unrestricted but afterward only those who've signed up as members of the NCPA LTC Division will have access to the content and NCPA experts.
Janeczko will be on hand at NCPA's 112th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition in Philadelphia, PA, October 23-27, 2010 to meet, greet and assist independents in signing up for this new division.
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,700 independent community pharmacies, pharmacy franchises, and chains. Together they represent an $88 billion health-care marketplace, employ over 65,000 pharmacists, and dispense over 40% of all retail prescriptions. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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