Alexandria, Va. - April 20, 2010
President Barack Obama has nominated Donald Berwick, MD, to be the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator. In response Bruce T. Roberts, RPh, executive vice president and CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), issued the following statement: "The National Community Pharmacists Association congratulates Donald Berwick on his nomination to lead the agency that provides the regulations and oversight for the delivery of health care for millions of Americans. Medicare and Medicaid make up approximately 40% of the average community pharmacy’s revenue and that number will grow with retiring baby boomers joining Medicare and the recent expansion of those eligible to receive Medicaid. "Thus, the policies CMS creates have a profound effect on the nearly 23,000 community pharmacies we represent, often in underserved communities that lack access to many other health care providers. We had to work tirelessly to get a prompt payment requirement for Medicare Part D prescription drug claims, an exemption from the Medicare Part B Durable Medical Equipment (DME) accreditation requirement, and to scale back major cuts to Medicaid generic prescription drug reimbursement. These are just some of the ways in which CMS policies can affect patients’ ability to access their local pharmacy. "If CMS Administrator-designate Berwick is confirmed, NCPA is committed to working constructively with him. We want to continue offering practical solutions to ensure Medicare and Medicaid are efficient, effective and maintain longstanding patient-community pharmacist relationships. When that occurs pharmacists can be focused on using their expertise to improve the quality of patient care, while reducing medical spending in federal health programs." 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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