The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) yesterday applauded the inclusion of the NACDS-backed provision to include pharmacy services in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) final rule.
The CMS Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Managed Care final rule, released on April 21, includes pharmacies as key providers.
Under the final rule, states must establish network adequacy standards for key providers. The providers' services must be covered under the Medicaid contract. The pharmacy network must also be in compliance with the access to care standards.
“CMS’ decision to include a provision that ensures patients have access to pharmacy services is consistent with NACDS’ position on ensuring patients have continued access to care, which leads to better overall health outcomes and reduced costs,” NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson said. “NACDS remains committed to working with CMS as it strives to advance and improve the health care system.”
This is the first major overhaul in more than 10 years. It is intended to align the Medicaid and CHIP programs with other health care coverage programs. The effective date of the final rule is July 6, but the access to care section is not in effect until July 1, 2018.