Thursday, January 29, 2009

Rules limit medical-device sales by pharmacies, often the only source for such items in rural areas

"New regulations that make it costly for pharmacists to sell durable medical equipment may be thwarted if a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., becomes law," reports Frank Wallis of the Baxter Bulletin of Mountain Home.

The regulations Berry opposes require pharmacists to become accredited in order to sell durable medical equipment to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. In many rural communities, pharmacists are the only health professionals who can supply such items as therapeutic shoes, prosthetic devices and home dialysis supplies and equipment.

Berry's bill "would add pharmacists to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services list of pre-qualified medical professionals," writes Wallis. That would let them provide rural residents with medical equipment without completing the costly and time-consuming accreditation process. (Read more)

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