A recent Avalere Health study revealed significant differences in cost-effectiveness for U.S. patients between long-term care pharmacies (LTC) and retail pharmacies.
The study, published in Pharmacy Times, provided a detailed analysis of the LTC pharmacy sector since Medicare Part D was implemented in 2006.
“Distinct from more commonly known retail pharmacies, LTC pharmacies are not open to the public and do not sell convenience items. With no ancillary income streams, they rely solely upon revenue from dispensing prescriptions and providing consultative services," the study reported. "LTC pharmacies also have higher operating costs due to a myriad of legal and regulatory mandates. In particular, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) estimates that the cost to dispense for LTC pharmacies is 25 percent more than retail pharmacies.”
Furthermore, the case analysis also states, LTC pharmacies must comply with extensive Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation, meet state licensing and related requirements pertaining to LTC services, and satisfy other regulatory and professional practice standards.
In efforts to get LTC pharmacies to meet state requirements, researchers suggested three primary objectives:
--LTC pharmacies must maintain responsibility for a wide array of pharmacy services for residents in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities.
--LTC pharmacies must facilitate and support regulatory compliance by LTC facilities.
--LTC pharmacies must offer an efficient and effective method to protect vulnerable patients and improve the quality of their care.