The Patient Access to Pharmacists' Care Coalition (PAPCC) - a group of more than 20 organizations representing patients, pharmacists, and pharmacies, as well as other interested stakeholders - issued the following statement today on the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize pharmacists and their patient care services under Medicare Part B:
"The Patient Access to Pharmacists' Care Coalition (PAPCC) applauds Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Todd Young (R-IN), for introducing H.R. 4190, a bill that will enable patient access to, and payment for, Medicare Part B services by state-licensed pharmacists in medically underserved communities," said Vince Ventimiglia, a Principal with FaegreBD Consulting and advisor to the PAPCC.
"The shortage of health care workers is a major limitation on access to care in medically underserved communities. This legislation seeks to fill critical needs and increase access to quality health care in medically underserved communities by enabling pharmacists to practice to the full extent of their education, training and license," Ventimiglia added.
"While pharmacists remain committed to assisting patients with access and information related to their prescription medications, pharmacists today are capable of providing a broad spectrum of services including health and wellness screenings, chronic disease management, immunizations, and medication management, to help meet the growing need of patients in an evolving health care delivery environment designed to advance wellness and reduce hospital readmissions," Ventimiglia said.
"The PAPCC is encouraged by this significant step forward to increasing patient access to health care in a cost-effective manner by making pharmacists, as key members of the patient care team, eligible for payment under Medicare Part B, and we look forward to working with our champions and others in Congress to enact this common-sense legislation into law," Ventimiglia said.
"We have a 'medication use' crisis in this country!," said Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA, Executive Vice President and CEO, American Pharmacists Association. "Our health care system spends billions of dollars fixing problems from suboptimal drug therapy. Pharmacists can help, and so the profession has united to gain the recognition that gets us on the team and in the game through the formation of PAPCC. APhA applauds all the pharmacy organizations and stakeholders who are united and focused on passage of federal legislation that gives our patients that access. If we are successful, everyone wins, including patients, team-based health care and payers."
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