Unaccredited pharmacies hang tight

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10/05/2009

While the community pharmacy industry waits to see what happens with a last minute Congressional push to extend the accreditation deadline for pharmacies, there is confusion over what they should do in the meantime. See previous blog for some details from the National Community Pharmacists Association.

In particular: If a pharmacy has voluntarily terminated from Medicare Part B OR has “stepped down” on their 855S form and NSC HAS NOT processed your application, you can continue to bill for DMEPOS and Part B drugs. NSC will not process that application. The key is KNOWING whether the application has been processed. NCPA has secured a commitment from CMS that they will ask the NSC to NOT process and further pharmacy applications that request a “step” down or voluntarily termination from the program. Therefore, if you submitted either form within the last few days, it is not likely that it has been processed. If you application has not been processed, CMS has indicated that you can continue to bill for Part B drugs and DMEPOS – assuming you have a surety bond. If you WANT NSC to process the application to step down or voluntarily terminate, then CMS is going to ask pharmacies to send a letter to the NSC, asking that they process the application. Pharmacies can also call the NSC to see if their application has been processed, but it may take some time to get through given the number of calls going into the NSC.

However, a pharmacy provider contacted me today to say the NSC hadn't heard from CMS yet regarding this instruction.

It could take a few days for the two bureacracies to communicate and as we hear, we will update you.

Small comfort in the meantime, I know.

Theresa Flaherty