New coalition working on federal provider status legislation

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APhA part of newly formed Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition

Announced yesterday, the new Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC) will lead the push for a federal legislative proposal to enable patient access to, and reimbursement for, Medicare Part B services by state-licensed pharmacists in medically underserved communities and consistent with state scope of practice. APhA was among the 22 pharmacy organizations and stakeholders, including three major chains, to join the coalition.

“The goal of the coalition is to obtain provider status by seeking the coverage of pharmacists’ patient care services through federal legislation,” said APhA Senior Lobbyist Michael Spira.

So far, the list of coalition members comprises pharmacy associations, pharmacy chains, and other stakeholders. These include Albertson’s, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, APhA, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Amerisource Bergen, Bi-Lo Pharmacy, Cardinal Health, CVS Caremark, Food Marketing Institute, Fred's Pharmacy, Fruth Pharmacy, International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association, Rite Aid, Safeway Inc., SuperValu Pharmacies (Cub, New Farm Fresh Pharmacy, New Shoppers Pharmacy, and Shop’n Save Pharmacy), Thrifty White Pharmacy, Walgreens, and Winn-Dixie.

“This group will be knocking on the doors of Congress to ensure that pharmacists are formally recognized for their work as health care providers under federal law,” wrote APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA, on his CEO Blog on pharmacist.com yesterday. “This will take time, but we are in it for the long haul.”

Of the other organizations committed to the coalition, only the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) had announced its own role in the effort by this morning, according to a spot check of coalition members’ websites. “Now is the time to make it happen for our patients and for our profession,” wrote ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP, on his blog on the ASHP website yesterday. “I hope you will join us in supporting this effort as we work under an aggressive timetable to get a bill introduced in Congress soon.”

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