Specifically, CARA exempts Medicare Part D beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and other settings from a proposed medication management "lock-in" provision under Medicare Part D. Over the past year as legislative language advanced through both chambers, SCPC has repeatedly made the case that beneficiaries in SNFs and other long-term care settings already have sufficient protections from drug abuse and diversion, and should be exempted.
Said Rosenbloom: "The exemption is a vital provision that specifically recognizes the unique characteristics of the long-term care patient population and the distinctions between specialized long-term care pharmacies and more well-known retail pharmacies -- particularly the additional requirements already imposed on LTC pharmacies under Medicare and Medicaid Requirements of Participation and Medicare Part D rules."
The SCPC leader pointed out the nation's LTC pharmacies already provide stringent oversight of prescription drug dispensing and usage -- including even greater oversight of opioids and other Schedule II drugs dispensed to LTC patients -- and are in a unique position to ensure the ongoing integrity of the Medicare Part D program. "As contracted pharmacies servicing LTC facilities, our LTC pharmacies maintain stringent oversight of patients' entire drug regimens. The methods of packaging, dispensing, and tracking medications -- and monitoring usage in LTC facilities -- results in LTC pharmacies satisfying extraordinarily high safety and compliance standards."
Rosenbloom said Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation for LTC facilities require the pharmacy to provide oversight and management of all medications for each patient receiving care and services in the facility. Of particular note with respect to narcotics:
- LTC pharmacists and licensed LTC facility staff employ count sheets to track every dose of narcotics prescribed and administered;
- LTC pharmacists and licensed LTC facility staff conduct regular narcotic audits to ensure compliance; and,
- Orders and reorders of narcotics are handled by LTC pharmacists and licensed facility staff -- not Medicare beneficiaries themselves.
"CARA's passage with the 'lock-in' provision and exemption intact demonstrates major progress by SCPC in terms of educating lawmakers and their staffs about the unique nature of LTC pharmacies and their patients -- and we will continue to shed light on how we differ significantly from the retail pharmacy sector," Rosenbloom concluded.
The SCPC is the national association exclusively representing independent long-term care (LTC) pharmacies, which provide medications, care and consultative services to roughly 400,000 patients in LTC facilities across the country, every day. The SCPC advocates for public policies that protect patients, improve the quality of health care across a rapidly evolving continuum of care, and strengthen the economic viability of independent LTC pharmacies to assure their continued ability to serve medically compromised seniors.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/scpc-hails-senate-passage-of-cara-thanks-lawmakers-in-both-chambers-for-recognizing-key-role-played-by-ltc-pharmacies-in-seniors-medication-management-300298540.html
SOURCE Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition