Association launches Web site for pharmacy
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Pharmacists now have a new tool to help them navigate the waters of accreditation.
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) launched a Web site in February, www.pharmacistelink.com, to provide current information on national competitive bidding (NCB) and accreditation.
"I want our pharmacists to be able to look at these items and then quickly move forward to do what they have to do," said Bill Popomaronis, vice president of long term and home health care pharmacy. "It's a quick, down-and-dirty look at (everything)."
The site will take a look at the different accrediting agencies and what they have to offer pharmacies, but the association won't endorse any one agency, said Popomaronis.
"We will speak with them to make sure we accurately reflect their value (to pharmacies)," he said. "Doing that will let pharmacists make the best decision for themselves."
The association's 40,000 members will also receive alerts as news develops (i.e. CMS names the first 10 MSAs and what products will be put out to bid).
According to a survey conducted by the NCPA last June, only about 10% of pharmacies are accredited, although 97% said they offer some Part B items (See HME News August 2006). But because the amount of Part B items is usually small--diabetes supplies, orthotics and simple DME--the attrition rate of pharmacies is expected to be high, said Tim Safley, HME clinical adviser for ACHC.
"I think that there are a lot that are going to get rid of their Part B supplier numbers because some of them only had 20 or 30 customers anyway," said Safley. "I think others that want the business will get accredited, especially if they hear their neighbor down the road didn't."
Mike Tracey, the HME manager of Bay Pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay, Wisc., has selected the agency he wants to work with and plans to be accredited within the year.
"With Medicare requiring it, we're certainly going to do it," said Tracey. "We should be held to the same standards as everybody else."