A NEW PROVIDER STATUS BILL that extends pharmacists’ services to medically underserved areas of the country has received strong support from ASHP.
Introduced March 11, 2014, by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.), H.R. 4190 will amend the Social Security Act to recognize pharmacists as providers under Medicare Part B.
The change will help address gaps in the U.S. health care system by increasing access to pharmacists’ services for patients who live in medically underserved communities.
“This bill will make a tremendous difference to patients needing additional access to the critical health care services that pharmacists provide,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP.
H.R. 4190 will recognize licensed pharmacists working within their state pharmacy practice acts to deliver care for patients in federally defined medically underserved communities.
The legislation also establishes a mechanism to pay for pharmacist provider services as a percentage of the current physician fee schedule, or pursuant to pharmacist specific codes as part of that schedule.
“The ASHP Board of Directors made achieving provider status the Society’s top priority in our strategic plan, and we are extremely pleased to see that patients are one step closer to having the access they deserve to the patient care services of pharmacists,” said ASHP President Gerald E. Meyer, Pharm.D., M.B.A., FASHP.
“It is heartening to see that our elected officials in Washington appreciate the value pharmacists can bring as patient care providers, and we look forward to seeing this bill get passed and signed into law.”