APhA Urges Congress to Authorize Pharmacists’ COVID Testing and Immunization Services under Medicare in Next Pandemic Bill

CONTACT: Frank Fortin

202.223.7189; ffortin@aphanet.org

In a letter delivered today to the majority and minority leaders of Congress, the American Pharmacists Association requested immediate action to address the growing need to expand COVID-19 testing and immunization services by providing all pharmacists with temporary provider status in Medicare Part B.

The letter states, “America’s pharmacists stand ready and able to provide the patient care services necessary to help meet the public health needs created by the spread of the coronavirus. To unleash the full potential of pharmacists’ contributions for testing and immunization, Congress must designate pharmacists as providers under Medicare Part B for COVID-19, influenza, and RSV testing and immunization.”

APhA noted, “More than 360,000 pharmacists have been trained to administer vaccines for patients of all ages. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider and provide care and services in a wide variety of practice settings in communities across our nation – making them uniquely qualified to reduce clinical burdens and improve patient health.”

To support this action, APhA is calling on all healthcare professionals to speak up about the value of pharmacists’ services and the importance of having a pharmacist included as part of a patient’s health care team.

APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Scott J. Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP, said, “Physicians, pharmacists, and all providers must work together for optimal medication therapy and patient safety. We all know that outcomes improve, lives are saved, and costs are contained when the entire health care team is involved.”

Dr. Knoer added, “We are calling on all health care providers who know that including pharmacists in the next COVID-19 package is the right thing to do and to take action.”