Like a laser: Focusing on provider status

Today's Perspective

As demonstrated by efforts across the country, pharmacists are committed to achieving pro­vider status for the profession. If you’re trying to catch up on just what this means to you, this issue of Pharmacy Today was written with you in mind.

Starting this month, we’ve retooled our successful “Hub” series to keep track of and cen­tralize our coverage of this important issue in a brightly designed new section. Launching the Hub on Provider Status, APhA Senior Manager of Governance and Practice Initiatives Ryan M. Burke, PharmD, provides readers with a Policy 101 briefing on page 56. He summarizes suc­cinctly the problems with the current situation, how a bill introduced in Congress would address those, and what you can do to help secure its passage.

If that doesn’t make things clear enough, turn back a few pages to Randy McDonough’s MTM Pearls column. On page 46, online reactions to a July 4 editorial in the Des Moines Register by APhA President Matthew Osterhaus, BSPharm, FASCP, FAPhA, show how a few misinformed but vocal readers could do much harm to the profession’s efforts and ultimately their own health. As McDonough notes, an overwhelm­ing majority of Americans support provider status for pharmacists, but it’s up to us to make sure our patients know what we’re doing and why it’s so important to their health.

A great example of the new brand of pharmacist patient care services comes from the pages of the July/August JAPhA. As summarized on page 54 by Senior Editor Amy K. Erickson, two articles and an editorial in the APhA practice journal describe how pharmacists in physician offices were able to fill the gap in providing Medicare Annual Wellness Visits. Required as a benefit under the Affordable Care Act, the visits mesh perfectly with pharmacists’ broad range of knowledge of chronic diseases and the medications used to treat them. Read how!

When should you take action? The time is now, and October—American Pharmacists Month—provides the perfect opportunity to engage with your patients, your colleagues, other health professionals, and your community in sharing pharmacy’s message. On page 58 in the Hub on Provider Status, APhA Senior Manager of External Communications Michelle Spinnler provides ideas on how to embed grassroots public imaging into your month-long celebration.

Enjoy your September Today!

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