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NACDS files brief in TRICARE Dept. of Labor case
January 28th, 2011
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has filed a legal brief in a U.S. Department of Labor case on the the application of federal contracting requirements to health care providers in TRICARE military health benefit program.
Describing the matter as "government overreach," NACDS said Friday that it filed the brief because the ruling could be used as precedent if the federal government decides to extend the contractual regulations and requirements to TRICARE-providing pharmacies.
NACDS filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the defendant in the case, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, United States Department of Labor vs. Florida Hospital of Orlando (ARB Case No. 11-011).
According to the association, the hospital is appealing a Department of Labor administrative law judge's decision that extends federal government contracting regulations and requirements to some health care providers that service TRICARE beneficiaries (military servicemen, retirees and families). The regulations include new record-keeping and employment requirements.
The NACDS brief described the negative impact of the judge's decision and its ramifications for TRICARE patients and TRICARE pharmacies. According to NACDS, TRICARE-providing pharmacies have no contractual obligations to the federal government and shouldn't be viewed as contractors. Also, the association said that if the government decides to extend and impose "new and burdensome" requirements on TRICARE pharmacies, those pharmacies could be forced out of the TRICARE system, limiting patient access.
"At a time when the administration and Congress agree that federal rules and regulations need to be seriously reviewed and revised, the Department of Labor's decision to expand new contractual requirements to TRICARE providers seems misguided and misplaced," NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said in a statement. “As the face of neighborhood health care and the most accessible health care provider, pharmacies will continue to combat any obstacle to providing the best quality care and service to our brave men and women in uniform and their families."