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Cardinal Health Offers Accreditation Support to Help Independent Pharmacies Continue to Meet Needs of Growing Number of Medicare Patients


New course helps pharmacies more time-and-cost-efficiently earn accreditation to sell.

DUBLIN, Ohio,— Cardinal Health, a global provider of products and services that improve the safety and productivity of health care, recently introduced a new accreditation assistance course to help independent pharmacies continue to receive reimbursement for selling durable medical equipment, prosthetics and supplies (DMEPOS) to Medicare Part B patients.

Prior to 2007, any registered Medicare Part B provider could request reimbursement for selling or renting DMEPOS equipment including wheelchairs, scooters, oxygen and diabetic supplies to Medicare patients. However, the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 requires providers to now be accredited to receive Medicare reimbursement for selling DMEPOS products. For a single site pharmacy, the cost to complete the accreditation process can exceed $10,000; and preparing for accreditation can take hundreds of hours.

Once accredited, pharmacies in specific areas are also required to participate in a competitive bidding process to become an authorized supplier of these products in their communities. This accreditation and competitive bidding process began this year in ten designated metropolitan statistical areas and is expected to expand to more regions until its completion in 2010.

As part of its ongoing effort to help retail pharmacies maximize revenue and better serve the health-care needs of their communities, Cardinal Health recently developed a DMEPOS accreditation assistance course, and partnered with the Healthcare Quality Association on Accreditation (HQAA) to make the course available to Cardinal Health retail pharmacy customers. The course, which is taken via webinars and teleconferences, significantly reduces the time and costs involved with the accreditation process. The course includes:

* DMEPOS policies and procedures manual
* An on-site pre-accreditation audit, performed by a Cardinal Health accreditation consultant
* Training DVDs and webinars
* Performance improvement guidelines and protocols
* Ongoing access to accreditation expertise, seminars and teleconferences
* DMEPOS accreditation awarded by HQAA for a three year term, with no annual fees

“Many independent pharmacies find the new accreditation process to be time consuming, expensive and hard to navigate,” said Glenn Hall, vice president of managed care marketing and general manager of Leader Member Services. “This new course makes the accreditation process more efficient and affordable, so our independent pharmacy customers can continue to provide the home health-care products on which their Medicare customers rely.”

To date, more than 200 retail pharmacies have signed up to participate in Cardinal Health’s DMEPOS accreditation assistance course. Cardinal Health customers wanting to participate in the course may call Cardinal Health home healthcare customer support at 1-800-530-2696.

“The new home healthcare sales requirements are complex, and they can have a huge impact on my business as a Medicare Part B provider,” said Alberto Benarroch, owner of Locatel Health and Wellness Pharmacy in Hallandale, Fla. “Cardinal Health’s accreditation assistance course offered the structure, simplicity and support that I needed – now my staff and I feel fully prepared to earn the accreditation we need to continue making these products available to our customers.”


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