Diabetes industry not resting easy

Thursday, May 31, 2007

WASHINGTON - With the ink barely dry on CMS's final rule for competitive bidding, diabetes stakeholders say they won't rest until CMS permanently excludes diabetes testing supplies.
"We will continue to demonstrate to them the value of community pharmacy in providing access and continue to make our point," said Bill Popomaronis, vice president of long term and home health care pharmacy for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).
Industry leaders also look ahead to 2010, when CMS could implement nationwide and regional competitive bidding categories.
"I think there's some ongoing concerns about the lack of specificity in the final rule," said Mark Weller, senior vice president of B&D Consulting, which manages the Diabetes Access to Care Coalition (DACC). "There are some issues that we think need to be covered in more detail."
Those details include definitions of mail order, regional mail order and nationwide mail order suppliers, as well as what delivery model qualifies as mail order.
This lack of concise information has some questioning how much thought CMS has given to nationwide and regional mail order bids.
"It seems to be something they came up with at the last minute because the rule itself and the (accompanying) commentary doesn't jibe with it," said Seth Lundy, a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Fulbright & Jaworksi.