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Associations support bill to expand pharmacists’ role

Associations support bill to expand pharmacists’ role

The American Pharmacists Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association are applauding the reintroduction of legislation that would enable patient access to, and coverage of, Medicare Part B services by pharmacists in medically underserved communities. The bipartisan H.R. 592 was introduced Wednesday.

Specific services would depend on the state in which the pharmacist practices, but could include those related to disease management, medication therapy management, transitions of care and health and wellness, Michelle Spinnler, spokeswoman for the APhA, told SN.

“The American Pharmacists Association is pleased to see the re-introduction of legislation that will increase patient access by taking advantage of pharmacists, an important but often underutilized member of the patient's health care team," said Thomas Menighan, APhA EVP and CEO, in a press statement.

According to the NCPA, the lack of federal recognition of pharmacists as providers under Medicare is a barrier the prevents pharmacists from practicing to the full extent of their licensure.

“NCPA and its pharmacy allies have for years advocated broadening the array of services these clinically-trained medication experts can provide to patients,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Houghey, in a statement. “This common-sense legislation deserves support from the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and President.”

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