Long-term care pharmacy groups propose changes to make short-cycle dispensing more efficient, cost-effective

Share this article:

Long-term care pharmacies are struggling with an Affordable Care Act provision related to short-cycle dispensing of brand name oral solid drugs, according to a recent letter from the Long Term Care Pharmacy Alliance and the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Policymakers must quickly come up with a better definition of “brand name drugs,” the two trade associations urged in their letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week.

Some generic drugs that were developed decades ago, such as alprazolam, potassium chloride CR and digoxin, are brand-name drugs according to the definition laid out in the ACA. The “inadvertent inclusion” of these drugs in the short-cycle dispensing provision is driving Medicare Part D costs up, contrary to the goal of the healthcare reform legislation, the letter states.

Due to differing interpretations of “brand-name drugs,” there is confusion over audits of the claims filing process for long-term care pharmacies. The trade organizations requested that CMS suspend audit recovery, as “pharmacies should not be held accountable for inconsistent plan messaging when our members are dealing with hundreds of plans on a daily basis.”

The short-cycle dispensing requirement has stirred controversy among some long-term care providers. They argue that additional dispensing fees and labor costs would offset any savings from reducing the amount of unused drugs. 

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...