Written by Joy Robinson, Manhasset@antonnews.com Thursday, 05 September 2013 00:00
The Manhasset pharmacy filed under the legal name Mercaldo Apothecary was denied its enrollment application to be a Medicaid provider. Anthony and Peter Mercaldo will not be allowed to serve the local Medicaid population after a thorough onsite, procedural investigation was done at their business, MacLennan Pharmacy.
“The fact that this provider violated so many of Medicaid’s pharmacy standards has a direct bearing on their ability to provide quality medical services or supplies to Medicaid patients,” stated Medicaid Inspector General James C. Cox. “And they will be prohibited from doing so as long as they continue to disregard basic standards meant to protect Medicaid consumers from such practices.”
The onsite visit by OMIG investigators revealed a plethora of violations such as: *38 expired drugs in the pharmacy’s inventory (including one that had expired in 2006); a dirty pharmacy refrigerator that not only lacked a required internal thermometer inside (to ensure proper temperature for certain medications), but also contained food items, which is prohibited; a clogged sink that had no hot running water; a counter which was dusty and cluttered; and poor to no wheelchair access to its aisles. Federal regulations prohibit enrollment of an applicant with a location that limits access to people with disabilities into any program that receives federal reimbursement. *Anthony Mercaldo told Newsday in a separate interview that he was not aware of any issues regarding expired drugs and referred any further questions to his brother Peter Mercaldo.
Manhasset Press questioned the OMIG authorities about whether or not MacLennan Pharmacy can continue “business as usual” after the myriad violations within the business. Indeed, they still can and have been doing so for their customers since the findings. Perhaps some may agree there may be an upshot for Manhasset locals who have been loyal customers and depended on the Mercaldos for years. “Normally something like this serves as a wakeup call,” suggested OMIG Public Information Officer Wanda Fischer. If the Mercaldo brothers were to reverse and rectify these violations, it is possible for them to reapply to the Medicaid program. They can do this as many times deemed necessary, according to Fischer, who added that although the brothers seemed quite surprised by our findings, “they should have known because investigators were taking photographs onsite during the investigation process.”
The brothers are hoping to clear everything up in the pharmacy and soon meet the Medicaid enrollment standards that will enable them to become approved. Peter Mercaldo made this statement last week, “I am trying to move passed it now, it was something that was brought to our attention and we hope we can satisfy what they (OMIG) are looking for,” he said. “There is nothing that we’ve been hiding from anybody.”
The MacLennan Pharmacy, listed as Mercaldo Apothecary to the OMIG, was referred to the New York State Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline for further investigation. To learn more, please visit www.omig.ny.gov.