Legislation that requires Medicare Part D plans to pay pharmacists within 14 days could take money away from nursing homes and Medicare Advantage plans, according to a report from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

The report, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, shows the detrimental effects of a proposed 14-day reimbursement cycle. Up-front costs to prescription drug plans in the form of computers and software, plus the higher annual costs incurred by processing claims faster would be substantial, according to the report.

The House and Senate last year introduced legislation (H.R. 1474 and S.1954) that would mandate payment time frames and standards in the PartD program. Prescription drug plans currently reimburse pharmacistsaccording to an agreed upon contract, usually 30 days from the time ofa claim. The legislation would cost Medicare and its beneficiaries upto $7.8 billion over the next decade, the report found.

To view the March 26 report in its entirety, go to: http://www.pcmanet.org/newsroom/2008/Documents/PwC%20Prompt%20Pay%20Report%20March%202008.pdf.