In a surprise reversal, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has dropped a controversial proposed regulation that would require nursing homes to hire independent pharmacists to oversee residents’ medication regimens.
The proposed rule had been developed in response to the belief that relationships between long-term care providers and pharmacy suppliers could conflict with the best interests of nursing home residents.
In response to overwhelming criticism, CMS has dropped the proposed regulation for now, which they acknowledged would be “highly disruptive to the industry.” Regulators “decided to further study the issue for future policy considerations,” Jonathan Blum, deputy director of the agency, said in a conference call with reporters.
CMS remains concerned about inappropriate medications for nursing home residents, and in a separate statement, encouraged nursing homes to voluntarily adjust how medications are prescribed or face stiffer regulations down the line.
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