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Bipartisan Legislation Reintroduced to Improve Patient Access to Health Care by Utilizing Pharmacists

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APhA Applauds Introduction of Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) applauds today’s introduction of H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which will improve patient access to health care through pharmacists and their patient care services.

“The American Pharmacists Association is pleased to see the re-introduction of legislation that will increase patient access by taking advantage of pharmacists – an important but often underutilized member of the patient’s health care team,” said Thomas E. Menighan, APhA Executive Vice President and CEO. “APhA and the pharmacy profession stands ready to build on the success achieved last year on this issue on Capitol Hill. Pharmacists are key members of the health care team, and when federal law recognizes their services, patients will have greater access to coordinated quality health care.”

H.R. 592, introduced today by U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Members, Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and House Ways and Means Committee Members, Todd Young (R-IN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) enables patient access to, and coverage of, Medicare Part B services by pharmacists in medically underserved communities.

APhA is a member of the Patient Access to Pharmacists Care Coalition (PAPCC) – a coalition comprised of organizations representing patients, pharmacists and pharmacies, as well as other interested stakeholders, devoted to expanding patient access to pharmacist-provided patient care services in medically underserved communities consistent with state scope of practice law. APhA and the PAPCC led a campaign in support of similar legislation introduced in the last session of Congress. Last year’s bill – H.R. 4190 – received bipartisan support from 123 House co-sponsors.

About the Pharmacists Provide Care Campaign
The Pharmacists Provide Care Campaign is dedicated to promoting patient access to health care through pharmacists’ patient care services by educating policymakers and the public about pharmacists’ role as health care providers. These important patient care services are not currently recognized under federal law. Extending this recognition will give patients greater access to pharmacists’ patient care services, allow pharmacists to work more closely with health care teams to manage chronic conditions, help patients transition between health care settings, reduce hospital readmissions and control medical costs. For more information, please visit PharmacistsProvideCare.com

About the American Pharmacists Association
The American Pharmacists Association, founded in 1852 as the American Pharmaceutical Association, is a 501 (c)(6) organization, representing more than 62,000 practicing pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others interested in advancing the profession. APhA, dedicated to helping all pharmacists improve medication use and advance patient care, is the first-established and largest association of pharmacists in the United States. For more information, please visit www.pharmacist.com

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