After the release of 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report last week, NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson voiced concern over provisions that disregard recommendations to ensure pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE patients.
“We thank the members of the House Armed Services Committee for pushing back on the previous copay structure which would have been more restrictive for TRICARE beneficiaries in the long term,” Anderson said. “However, we do have concerns that this report is inconsistent with previous recommendations by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission and DoD that pharmacy services can provide cost-reducing benefits for TRICARE patients.”
NACDS said they appreciate that the final report did not implement a 10-year copay increase structure, but there is language included that suggests that copays will be revised annually beginning in 2016.
In addition, the final conference report omitted a new pilot program for TRICARE patients.
"We have remained highly engaged in efforts to preserve pharmacy access and choice for TRICARE patients over the years, including consistent advocacy efforts with lawmakers,” Anderson said. “Key to that effort is testing the concept of making available to retail pharmacies the same medication acquisition cost rates enjoyed by mail order and military treatment facilities. The conference agreement omits the pilot program, which would have explored this important concept. We remain committed to seeking the pilot for this program, so that we can guarantee that TRICARE beneficiaries get the access to quality care they not only need but deserve.”