Pharmacies essential to value-based care, NACDS tells HHS Inspector General

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has invited feedback as to whether pharmacies should be excluded from the definition of "value-based enterprise (VBE) participant." The decision is being made on one specific point of regulatory policy that relates to the Anti-Kickback Statute, and its "safe harbors" that apply to those providers instrument

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has invited feedback as to whether pharmacies should be excluded from the definition of "value-based enterprise (VBE) participant." The decision is being made on one specific point of regulatory policy that relates to the Anti-Kickback Statute, and its "safe harbors" that apply to those providers instrumental in the coordination of care, rather than to those that primarily provide items. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) warned that exclusion from the definition would create yet another needless barrier to pharmacy patient care. "Community pharmacies can and do play a critical role in coordinating and managing care for patients. As evidenced throughout our comments, community pharmacies should be included in the definition of 'VBE participant.' We urge OIG to remedy this misconception in the final rule," wrote NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson, in comments sent to the regulator. NACDS' comments describe specific examples in which payors have recognized the value of pharmacy to improve quality and value, and incentivized pharmacies to deliver clinical care outside of dispensing prescriptions.