APhA Applauds New Trump Administration Recommendations that Would Allow Pharmacists to Be Paid Directly for Services

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) applauds recommendations made in a new Trump Administration report that would allow pharmacists and other healthcare providers to practice at the top of their professions and be paid directly for their patient care services.

Pharmacists and other highly trained professionals can safely and effectively provide some of the same patient care services as physicians,the report acknowledges.

The report, titled “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition,” was authored by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. The report identifies actions that could develop a better functioning health care market, while ensuring better access to patient care services.

Recommendations call for states to consider changes to their scope-of-practice statutes to allow all healthcare providers to practice to the top of their license, utilizing their full skill set and training.

In addition, the report says that the federal government and states should consider accompanying legislative and administrative proposals to allow non-physician providers to be paid directly for their services.

“For years, APhA has fought for the recognition of pharmacists as providers of quality patient care and the need to cover their services.  We’re grateful our role in health care is being recognized as a part of the solution to help Americans lead healthier lives. Something our patients already know,” said APhA CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA.

To that end, APhA urges Congress to pass The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592 / S. 109), a bipartisan bill increasing medically underserved Medicare beneficiaries’ access to health care through pharmacist-provided services. “Our approach to expanded access and patient-centered, team-based care should be embraced by all,” says Menighan.

There are some Report provisions which APhA would like to discuss with the authors due to the negative impact they could have on patient choice, access to care and competition, such those involving any willing provider and network contracting. Earlier this year, APhA was pleased to support a final rule which addressed concerns regarding plan sponsors or their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) excluding pharmacies from participation in Part D standard networks and limiting patient access and choice. Consequently, APhA will continue to work with the Administration on health care reform policies which balance patient access and costs.