Navigating the Complexities: Can a Pharmacy Bill Medicare Part B?

In the intricate world of Medicare billing, understanding the nuances of each part is crucial for healthcare providers, including pharmacies. One common question that arises is whether pharmacies can bill Medicare Part B, and if so, under what circumstances? This comprehensive guide will shed light on the eligibility criteria, enrollment process, and covered services for pharmacies seeking to bill Medicare Part B.

The Significance of Medicare Part B for Pharmacies

Medicare Part B, also known as Medical Insurance, covers a wide range of medical services and supplies, including certain prescription drugs and medical equipment. For pharmacies, the ability to bill Medicare Part B can open up new revenue streams and provide access to a broader patient base. However, it’s essential to understand the specific requirements and limitations outlined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Eligibility Criteria for Pharmacies to Bill Medicare Part B

To bill Medicare Part B for covered items and services, pharmacies must meet specific eligibility criteria and undergo an enrollment process. According to CMS, pharmacies must enroll in Medicare as either a Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) supplier or as a provider of Part B-covered drugs.

To enroll as a DMEPOS supplier, pharmacies must:

  • Obtain a National Provider Identifier (NPI)
  • Provide proof of all applicable federal and state licenses and certifications
  • Demonstrate operational capability to furnish Medicare-covered items or services

To enroll as a provider of Part B-covered drugs, pharmacies must:

  • Obtain a valid state license to dispense prescription drugs
  • Meet specific accreditation requirements (if applicable)
  • Comply with all Medicare supplier standards

It’s important to note that pharmacies must enroll separately for each category they wish to bill Medicare Part B.

The Enrollment Process for Pharmacies

The enrollment process for pharmacies billing Medicare Part B involves several steps:

  1. Completion of the Appropriate Enrollment Application: Pharmacies must complete either the Medicare Enrollment Application for DMEPOS Suppliers (CMS-855S) or the Medicare Enrollment Application for Institutional Providers (CMS-855B), depending on the category they wish to enroll in.

  2. Submission of Supporting Documentation: Along with the enrollment application, pharmacies must submit various supporting documents, such as licenses, certifications, and proof of operational capabilities.

  3. Screening and Verification: CMS conducts screening and verification processes to ensure that the pharmacy meets all enrollment requirements. This includes site visits and background checks.

  4. Approval or Denial: Upon review, CMS will either approve or deny the pharmacy’s enrollment application.

  5. Revalidation: Enrolled pharmacies must revalidate their enrollment every three to five years to maintain their billing privileges.

Covered Services Under Medicare Part B for Pharmacies

Once enrolled, pharmacies can bill Medicare Part B for various covered services and items, including but not limited to:

  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and related supplies
  • Prosthetic and orthotic devices
  • Certain immunizations, such as the influenza vaccine
  • Oral cancer drugs
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Certain injectable drugs and biologicals

It’s important to note that the specific coverage and billing guidelines may vary depending on the type of service or item provided. Pharmacies should familiarize themselves with the relevant Medicare policies and regulations to ensure compliance.

Limitations and Considerations

While Medicare Part B provides opportunities for pharmacies to expand their services and revenue streams, there are certain limitations and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Exclusions: Certain services and items, such as most self-administered prescription drugs, are excluded from Medicare Part B coverage for pharmacies.
  • Network Participation: Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may have specific network requirements for pharmacies billing Part B services.
  • Compliance: Pharmacies must adhere to all Medicare rules and regulations, including those related to documentation, coding, and billing practices.
  • Audits and Reviews: CMS and its contractors may conduct audits and reviews to ensure proper billing practices and compliance with Medicare guidelines.


Pharmacies can indeed bill Medicare Part B for covered items and services, provided they meet the necessary eligibility criteria and complete the enrollment process. However, it’s crucial to understand the specific requirements, covered services, and limitations associated with billing Medicare Part B as a pharmacy. By staying informed and compliant, pharmacies can leverage this opportunity to expand their service offerings and provide high-quality care to Medicare beneficiaries.

Remember, the Medicare landscape is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest policies and regulations. Consulting with healthcare legal professionals and leveraging industry resources can help pharmacies navigate the complexities of Medicare Part B billing and ensure a seamless and compliant billing experience.

Billing Process Medicare & Durable Medical Equipment DME With RJ Hedges | Pharmacy Compliance Series


Can a pharmacist bill Medicare Part B?

For Medicare patients, pharmacists are not recognized as Medicare Part B providers and can only bill “incident-to” the physician supervising in the practice or clinic. Consequently, pharmacists are restricted to billing at the 99211 code level.

Can specialty pharmacies bill Medicare Part B?

Medicare Part B has limitations on pharmacy billing. There are two “Specialty codes” that may be used by pharmacies, each with limitations. Specialty 73 is for “Mass Immunization Roster Billers” and Specialty A5 (formerly Specialty 87) is for “Pharmacy”.

What CPT codes can a pharmacist bill for?

“Incident-to” codes range from 99211 to 99215. Most pharmacists will be reimbursed under the 99211 code. The ability for a pharmacist to be reimbursed for these services will vary from region to region with regards to payer requirements, and may require pharmacists to utilize their NPI number.

Leave a Comment