Now the REAL work begins!
By now, you’d have to be living under a rock not to know that four bipartisan U.S. representatives and four bipartisan U.S. senators have introduced new pharmacist “provider status” legislation that would give patients in medically underserved areas better access to health care. S. 314 and H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, will improve patient access to health care through pharmacists’ patient care services.
I’m very proud of the APhA government affairs team and our entire staff, all of whom in one way or another are supporting this initiative. I am also incredibly impressed with the fantastic team work of the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition. This group of APhA and more than two dozen partners is really working hard and working together to increase access to pharmacists’ care.
You can check out the current cosponsor names at the House bill at: www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/592/cosponsors and the Senate bill at: www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/314. More importantly, you can:
- Thank your representative or senator if they are already on the bills. This is more than a nice gesture. These folks introduced these bills because they believe in what we have to offer health care. After we thank them collectively for their belief in us, we have to get to work to support their work in convincing their colleagues to vote yes when that time comes.
- Get your story straight. Get your own “elevator speech” together and practice it. If you’ve read my editorials lately, you’ve been giving some thought to the best way to succinctly make the point that patients need our care.
- Grassroots efforts will be initiated soon. So, if you’re one of thousands of pharmacists who signed up for our “Pharmacists Provide Care” campaign, we’ll be reaching out. If you haven’t already, sign up to support the Pharmacists Provide Care Campaign and learn how you can get involved at: www.pharmacistsprovidecare.com.
Now that we have companion bills in both chambers of Congress, we can take a minute to celebrate our progress and the united front pharmacy has provided on this initiative. But there’s still work to be done.
A good friend once told me, “This opportunity will never come again. Don’t give yourself the excuse that you should have tried harder, or been better prepared!” Together, let’s heed that sage advice!