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March 1, 2017

Advocating for Pharmacists

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

KASEY THOMPSON, ASHP’s Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for Policy, Planning and Communications, represented ASHP among leaders of the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC) this morning in a highly impactful fundraising breakfast for Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX). Dr. Burgess serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health of the highly influential House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is one of the House committees considering H.R. 592, the Pharmacists in Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act. As Chairman, Dr. Burgess plays a key role in setting the subcommittee’s agenda and ultimately determining whether legislation moves out to the full committee.

Dr. Thompson shared with Congressmen Burgess the many important clinical pharmacy services that pharmacists provide in various settings, including ambulatory clinics and throughout all care transitions. He emphasized the role that ASHP members play as direct patient care providers who optimize therapy as key members of interprofessional teams. Further, he stressed to Dr. Burgess how those vital pharmacist patient care services improve therapeutic outcomes and decrease healthcare costs.

The goal for this event was to advance efforts to pass provider status legislation in 2017. Although this is but one of many things ASHP and the PAPCC are doing to move this important legislation, we believe it was a great step in the right direction. Further, we are pleased to have had a productive discussion with such an influential member of Congress, and one who is a physician by training. Dr. Burgess did not express any opposition to our legislation and is eager to continue the discussion with members of the PAPCC about the benefits of H.R. 592. Rest assured that ASHP and the PAPCC will continue speaking with Dr. Burgess, other members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and their colleagues in the Senate as we look to move H.R. 592 and S. 109 in 2017.

Thanks so much for everything you do for your patients and for being a member of ASHP.



February 19, 2015

A Great Start to 2015

Christene M. Jolowsky, M.S., R.Ph., FASHP

Christene M. Jolowsky, M.S., R.Ph., FASHP

EVEN THOUGH IT’S BEEN A DREARY, DIFFICULT WINTER for much of the country, I’m hoping that what I want to talk about today puts a smile on your face. I will take the opportunity of my first column of the new year to tell you about a number of exciting endeavors happening at ASHP.

Winning on Provider Status

Leading the way this year are some exciting successes regarding provider status for pharmacists. As ASHP CEO Paul Abramowitz noted in his recent blog, ASHP’s work to enact provider status legislation has resulted in the introduction of H.R. 592, the “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act,” and its companion S. 314. Both bills will allow Medicare to reimburse pharmacists in medically underserved communities for certain healthcare services.

On behalf of ASHP, I extend our thanks to the bipartisan co-sponsors of the legislation on both the House and Senate side, including Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Congressman Todd Young (R-IN), and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) as well as Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Robert Casey (D-PA) .

This is a big bipartisan win in a new Congress, and we are so grateful to the many ASHP members who have been involved in this advocacy effort. The emails, phone calls, hosted health-system site visits, and member visits that you’ve made to your Congressional representatives and senators have made all the difference. But we can’t give up now! We need to keep reaching out to our legislators to urge them to pass this legislation. To find out how you can get involved, visit our advocacy center on

A Fast-Growing Area of Practice

Did you know that ASHP’s Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners is our fastest-growing membership area? It’s not surprising, given how many ambulatory clinics, physicians’ practices, infusion centers, etc., across the country are including pharmacists on their patient care teams.

ASHP is focusing tremendous resources and effort on expanding opportunities for members who practice in these and other outpatient settings, including adding great new content to the Ambulatory Care Resource Center and making the Ambulatory Care Conference a permanent part of ASHP’s Summer Meetings.

We also are working on a new Ambulatory Care Self-Assessment Tool that will help pharmacists identify patient-care gaps and opportunities for improvement. Like its companion the Hospital Self-Assessment Tool, this web-based resource is designed to help you prioritize the changes you wish to make in your practice. Stay tuned as we work toward a spring launch date!

Residency Accreditation News

ASHP members who are residents, preceptors, or residency program directors will be happy to learn that Katrin S. Fulginiti, B.S.Pharm., M.G.A., has been named the new ASHP Director of Residency Accreditation Services. Katrin was formerly ASHP’s director of Process & Quality Improvement in our Accreditation Services Office. Prior to joining ASHP, she worked at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., where she served in various positions, including as residency program director of the ASHP-Accredited PGY1 Managed Care Program and as director of the ASHP-Accredited Technician Training Program.

That’s just one of the many wonderful things happening in accreditation services. ASHP also is continuing its rollout of our new PGY1 residency standards, which simplify and reduce the number of goals and objectives to be achieved. The new guidance document for the PGY1 standard should be completed in the spring. Watch for future revisions to the PGY1 community and managed care standards and the PGY2 standards.

ResiTrak, which is being redesigned based on the new PGY1 standard and on recommendations from the ResiTrak users group, will transition to PharmAcademic™ for those on the new standard by June 1. We think that ASHP’s members who are preceptors and our student members will be very happy with this new web-based tool that fully integrates curricular outcomes, assessments, and experiential education.

Changes to ASHP’s Strategic Plan

Everything that ASHP does is related in some way to our Strategic Plan, which helps us work toward collective goals and objectives, prioritizes ASHP’s work, and allows us to be more effective as we drive improvements in patient care and advance practice.

ASHP’s Board of Directors recently updated the Strategic Plan, adding three new goals. They include:

Advance Patient Care and Pharmacy Practice in Small, Rural, and Underserved Settings

ASHP’s membership is made up of practitioners who work in all kinds of settings, from large academic medical centers to hospitals and clinics in small, rural, and medically underserved areas. This new goal solidifies our commitment to members who practice in these special settings. And it ensures that we will continue to develop tools, resources, and best practices for this unique area of practice.

Address the Needs and Interests of Pharmacists Who Practice in Multi-Hospital Systems

As more and more hospitals and health systems consolidate, ASHP members who work in these large and diverse healthcare systems find unique challenges. So, ASHP is dedicated to helping these members succeed in their organizations by offering the kinds of support, resources, and services that they need.

Helping Members Lead and Address Issues Related to Specialty Pharmacy

ASHP will soon offer resources specifically designed to help health systems address the growing use of specialty pharmaceuticals. A resource guide is being developed that will assist in determining the best specialty pharmacy business and patient care strategy, coupled with targeted education through webinars and ASHP live meetings. Stay tuned for this and more, including an ASHP Specialty Pharmacy Resource Center.

A More Timely and Responsive Policy Process

ASHP’s policy making process is the backbone of much of what we do to serve you, our members, and to advance practice and patient care. The policies approved by ASHP’s House of Delegates drive all of our initiatives, from legislative advocacy to the creation of practice resources.

I’m excited to share with you the changes we’ve made to create a more timely and responsive policy process based on recommendations of ASHP’s Task Force on Organizational Structure. This year, we will kick off a year-round policy process, which includes meetings of our policy committees in February, July, and September, along with new and enhanced ways for all ASHP members to participate in the process. We’re also launching a virtual House of Delegates in addition to the face-to-face meeting in June, an innovative online approach that will allow us to work virtually together on policies that lend themselves to consensus.

This is just a taste of the exciting work that is going on at ASHP as we continue to support your professional aspirations to be the best patient care provider you can be. Much has been done, but there is always more to do! You can bet that ASHP is hard at work on your behalf.



ASHP Student Pharmacists Visit Capitol Hill to Support Provider Status

Filed under: Ambulatory Care,Current Issue,From the CEO,Provider Status,Students — Tags: , , — Kathy Biesecker @ 2:41 pm
Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

On February 3 and 4, 2015, ASHP hosted more than 40 student pharmacists from all around the country to meet with lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in support of provider status legislation. These eager young leaders and the energy they brought with them as they prepared to meet with their elected officials was incredible, and they were poised, motivated, and professional. There is no doubt in my mind that the future of our profession is in good hands!

On the first day of this inaugural event, the students participated in an orientation session with ASHP’s government relations team as well as a number of outside guests, including the chairperson of the ASHP PAC Advisory Committee, Diane Ginsburg, M.S., Ph.D., and former ASHP President, Kathy Schultz, Pharm.D., M.P.H., FASHP.

On the second day, the students heard from Jaymi Light from Congressman Todd Young’s (R-Ind.) office, who shared perspectives on the most effective ways to discuss the legislation and make the most out of their visits to the Hill.

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) talks with student pharmacists (from left) Cassie Stewart of West Virginia University, Morgantown, and Katie Oliver and Brian Hancock of University of Charleston, W.Va., about the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592).

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) talks with student pharmacists (from left) Cassie Stewart of West Virginia University, Morgantown, and Katie Oliver and Brian Hancock of University of Charleston, W.Va., about the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592).

These exceptional student leaders visited over 50 offices and met with elected officials and their staff members, asking them to sign on as cosponsors of H.R. 592 and S. 314. They also took time to thank the many current cosponsors of these important pieces of legislation, and let them know that ASHP will be here to support them every step of the way. I’ve been told that their visits made a difference, and that we anticipate a number of new cosponsors to sign on in support of the legislation.

As you read this message, please view the various images of these student leaders exercising their civic duty on behalf of the profession of pharmacy and our patients. I know that they will go back home and recruit many of their peers to get involved and reach out to their Senators and Representatives in Congress. We need for you to do the same. Please start by sending a letter to your Representative and Senators.

Once you send your letters, please recruit at least 10 of your peers to do the same. Also, please consider supporting the ASHP PAC so that we can continue to support the candidates who support your interests as pharmacists and patient care providers.

I will end this message by again giving our thanks to the students who joined us in Washington, D.C., last week and to all of the students and practitioner members of ASHP who will be a vital part of making provider status for pharmacists become the law of the land.


January 28, 2015

Provider Status Bill Reintroduced in Congress


Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP

HAPPY NEW YEAR! As we enter 2015 we can reflect on the success we had with last year’s introduction of pharmacists’ provider status legislation, H.R. 4190. This legislation, which enjoyed great support by both Republicans and Democrats, would amend the Social Security Act to recognize pharmacists as Medicare Part B providers working within their state scopes of practice in the large number of medically underserved areas—both urban and rural—throughout the United States.

I am happy to report that this important piece of legislation, now known as the “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act,” was reintroduced today by the original bipartisan sponsors. To add to that, we anticipate a companion bill will be introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan group of Republican and Democratic senators very soon. Now that’s the way to start the New Year off right!

ASHP and our members have taken a major leadership role in bringing this legislation to fruition and to helping advance it through Congress. The fact that all ASHP members provide exceptional care as generalists and specialists in hospitals, clinics, and other settings has made this effort possible, and it has clearly paid off.

These efforts by our stellar members who are already serving as patient care providers have been a shining example to Congress of what pharmacists can do to advance healthcare and improve patients’ lives. I am absolutely certain as I look to the future when provider status for pharmacists becomes the law of the land that ASHP members will lead the way in implementing the law and will serve as a source of inspiration to the entire healthcare community.

I would also like to recognize the efforts of our exceptional ASHP staff team that has worked tirelessly behind the scenes with Congress, CMS, and other stakeholders for more than a decade to lay the groundwork for this historic moment of opportunity. We couldn’t have gotten here without them! Regarding outreach and support from other stakeholders, the recent report by the National Governors Association expressed strong support for the expanding roles of pharmacists, including recognizing pharmacists as Medicare providers.

It is absolutely vital that every ASHP member continue to reach out to their members of Congress to express their support.

However, before we declare victory on behalf of our patients, we have a lot of work to do through 2015. It is absolutely vital that every ASHP member continue to reach out to their members of Congress to express their support and to ask them to co-sponsor (or thank them if they’re already co-sponsoring) this important legislation.

Further, we need you to form local coalitions with other patient and healthcare professional groups and colleagues you work with to get their support and to tell your stories as pharmacists and patient care providers through editorials and op-eds in your local newspapers, blogs, and social media outlets.

You can attend political rallies, fundraisers, and other events with your members of Congress and the Senate to ask them to support the legislation and to talk with them about how this legislation will help patients in your community and state. You can also support the ASHP PAC, which provides ASHP with the ability to support members of Congress who support your interests as pharmacists and patient care providers.

Most importantly, we want you to know that ASHP is here to support you every step of the way. Please visit ASHP’s advocacy center, and don’t hesitate to contact ASHP’s government affairs team.

ASHP continues to be a key leader in the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition (PAPCC), which currently includes almost every national pharmacy organization and a growing number of other influential stakeholders. The PAPCC will work to grow the national coalition, advocate to Congress, and create media campaigns in support of provider status.

I know you recognize the excitement and importance associated with this historic legislation, and the collective and individual role you will play in seeing the legislation get passed into law. I look forward to updating you again soon and to seeing all the great things you will be doing in your organizations, communities, and states now and in the coming months to support the legislation.

Thank you for all that you do on behalf of your patients and for being members of ASHP.



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