An article published online yesterday in Forbes highlighted the important role pharmacists play in providing immunizations, and how these immunization services would be covered if the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/S. 314) passes. While influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations are covered under Medicare Part B, and other vaccines like zoster are covered under Medicare Part D, the legislation will provide coverage for pharmacist-provided hepatitis B vaccination to patients with diabetes (as recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), which is not allowed under current Medicare law.
The article draws attention to the Patient Access to Pharmacists Care Coalition (PAPCC), of which APhA is a founding member. The PAPCC comprises organizations representing patients, pharmacists, and pharmacies, as well as other interested stakeholders focused on getting H.R. 592/S. 314 passed. In 2015, the PAPCC launched a media initiative to promote the role pharmacists can play in filling the gap many patients face in accessing care.
We are less than a week into 2016, and the groundwork we laid in 2015 is already paying off. Articles like the one published in Forbes help spread the word to patients and others about the valuable services that pharmacists can provide and raises awareness about the H.R. 592/S. 314, which has received support from both Democrats and Republicans.