NCPA Backs New Senate Bill to End Retroactive ‘DIR Fees,’ Improve Medicare Transparency
Monday, September 12, 2016
Posted by: Janet Anderson
Backs New Senate Bill to End Retroactive ‘DIR Fees,’ Improve Medicare
(Sept. 12, 2016) – Four U.S. Senators today introduced bipartisan legislation to boost
transparency in Medicare Part D drug spending and to prohibit retroactive “DIR
fees” in response to concerns raised by National Community Pharmacists
Association (NCPA) members and staff.
Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.),
Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) have
introduced the “Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare
Part D Spending Act,” S. 3308. Companion legislation to H.R.
5951 which was introduced Sept. 8, the bill would end huge clawbacks, often
labeled direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR fees, assessed by
Medicare drug plans, or their intermediaries, pharmacy benefit manager (PBM)
corporations, long after prescriptions are filled.
In response to the bill’s introduction, NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA,
issued the following statement:
“Since the inception of the
Medicare Part D drug benefit, independent community pharmacists have tirelessly
served seniors to help them get the most out of the program. Over the years
Medicare officials and Congress have occasionally stepped in to make enhancements
so Part D operates more smoothly. That action is certainly needed now to
address out-of-control DIR fees.
“In banning retroactive DIR
fees, S. 3308 / H.R. 5951 would improve transparency in Medicare Part D as many
members of Congress, Medicare officials
and NCPA have urged. The bill would also lower beneficiary cost-sharing at the
pharmacy counter without increasing Medicare Part D costs.
“NCPA congratulates Sens.
Capito and Tester and their colleagues on introduction of this important
legislation. It would go a long way to addressing the problems that NCPA has
raised and educated Congress, Medicare and others about.
encourage NCPA members to take grassroots action to
encourage their Senators to cosponsor this legislation and to attend the
NCPA Annual Convention program: Strategies to Combat DIRs to learn what
they can do to manage the impact of DIR fees on the bottom line. More
information on the meeting and registration is available at www.ncpanet.org/convention.”