Inside This Issue - News
Expanded role for Rx is sought
February 18th, 2013
ARLINGTON, Va. – With the nation’s health care system on the verge of a new era, advocates for community pharmacy are urging federal officials to ensure that community pharmacists play a greater role going forward.
As the government works to advance the establishment of innovative health care delivery systems such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) are calling for regulatory action to expand the role pharmacists can play in such efforts.
“Permitting pharmacists to practice to their maximum capabilities within these new delivery models would help increase medication adherence and coordination between health care settings, result in higher rates of vaccinations, and reduce the burden of the physician shortage, particularly with the influx of new patients in 2014 through the health care marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid eligibility,” the groups wrote in a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the federal office that is testing and evaluating new medical care delivery and payment systems.
“Because pharmacists have the proven ability to provide services which lead to better clinical outcomes and lower health care costs, we urge the Innovation Center to use its authority to find mechanisms for pharmacists to participate in these programs, such as granting pharmacists provider status for the purpose of participating in Innovation Center projects,” NACDS and NCPA say.
“Doing so would allow pharmacists to join other health care professionals in the new patient care opportunities taking place at the Innovation Center,” the associations’ letter says.
“Without this action,” the groups note, “pharmacists may be unable to provide and bill for their services and are therefore not being utilized by participants to the maximum extent possible.”