Pharmacies Demand More Provider Relief Funding from Congress

A coalition of long-term care pharmacies is calling top federal lawmakers to prioritize the sector for future Provider Relief Fund allocations after receiving no assistance from the reserve since its inception.

The 11 signatories included Phil Fogg Jr., the president and CEO of Consonus and the vice chairman of the board of governors for the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living.

The group noted that federal law requires long-term care pharmacies to provide healthcare services, as well as prescription drugs, to residents in long-term care. Long-term care pharmacies also have become the linchpin of vaccine distribution within the industry following the conclusion of the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, which offered three vaccination clinics for facilities.

Vaccines, however, have continued to be widely available to facilities through existing long-term care pharmacies through the federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 vaccination.

The sector has seen an 11% drop in revenue, while incurring a 10% increase in operating costs during the first quarter of 2021, and the vaccination program is exacerbating those losses, according to the pharmacy coalition.

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