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The Battle Over Quality Health Care

Oct 09, 2009
Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D.

Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D.

AS CONGRESS CONTINUES TO WRESTLE over the details of health care reform, ASHP is keeping its focus on what matters most to hospital and health-system pharmacists and our patients. And members have been behind us all the way. During White House forums last spring and in visits with members of Congress and their staffs during Legislative Day in September, ASHP members highlighted the many ways in which pharmacists improve patient care.

ASHP’s health care reform principles have been very helpful in our ongoing dialogue with legislators and regulators. These principles are essentially three-pronged:

• We want to ensure that patients have coverage for safe and effective medication use,

• We want sustainable financing for health care coverage to help manage costs, and

• We want incentives that align with and encourage quality health care.

These principles help to promote the pharmacist’s value by demonstrating the role of a pharmacist in safe medication use. They support best practices by allowing innovative practices to be recognized, disseminated, and provided to patients. And they focus on quality, which provides opportunities to promote prevention and develop the pharmacy work force.

Specifically, we would like to add annual medication therapy review and assessment by a pharmacist to all Medicare Part D plans and include pharmacists as nonphysician providers under Medicare Part B.

Direct advocacy is not the only way that we are trying to influence the debate in this country over improved patient care. ASHP’s 2015 Initiative continues to be a shining light for improved quality and medication safety and efficacy. We are excited to hear from the increasing number of hospitals and state affiliates that are using the Initiative’s six goals and 31 objectives to drive their own strategic planning.

There is even growing international interest in the project. The Spanish Society of Hospital Pharmacists has modeled its own 2020 Initiative after ASHP’s work. Recently, I presented to the society via video about the 2015 Initiative. You may find this basic overview of the program to be helpful.

Stay tuned as ASHP works to secure a place for hospital and health-system pharmacists in coming changes to our nation’s health care.

Henri R. Manasse, Jr., Ph.D., Sc.D.

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