NACDS responds to CMS moving up PECOS enrollment date

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is objecting to a move by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that it said would put retail pharmacies and other suppliers at risk for service disruptions.

Last month, CMS said it would move the implementation date for physician and nonphysician practitioner enrollment in the Medicare provider enrollment, chain and ownership system, also known as PECOS, up from Jan. 3, 2011, to July 6, 2010. This could result in Medicare Part B claims being denied if a beneficiary’s physician or nonphysician practitioner is not enrolled or improperly enrolled in PECOS, according to NACDS.

“The accelerated date for PECOS enrollment may create service disruptions for Medicare Part B beneficiaries,” NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson stated. “The new date -- less than one week away -- may reduce patients’ access to pharmacy-provided counseling, medical equipment and supplies -- such as diabetes testing strips and monitors, canes and crutches -- and [may] have negative consequences for patient health and medication adherence.”

NACDS said it worked to alert prescribers to the new date, notified congressional leaders and urged CMS to reinstate the original Jan. 3 enrollment date. “The new PECOS enrollment date poses a threat to pharmacy-provided healthcare services,” Anderson said. “NACDS members are already confronting 30% rejection rates on their Medicare Part B claims due to the fact that providers are either unaware or not properly enrolled in PECOS.”