Pharmacists are trained to provide primary care services, including patient assessment, point-of-care testing, low-level diagnosis, appropriate treatment therapies, and much more in their PharmD education. As an accessible healthcare professional, pharmacists regularly help patients live healthier, better lives. However, for decades, pharmacists have been one of the few health care professionals that lack recognition as health care providers in federal law. Nearly all other health care professional services are rightfully covered under Medicare laws, including services provided by chiropractors, PT and OT assistants, midwives, and dieticians, but not services provided by pharmacists.
Pharmacists across the country are calling on Congress to pass a bill that would amend section 1861(s)(2) of the Social Security Act to enable Medicare beneﬁciaries to access pharmacist-provided services under Medicare Part B. These services would be reimbursable under Medicare Part B if provided to patients in medically underserved communities and if the services are consistent with state scope of practice laws. Current legislation is proposed in both the House and the Senate and at submission of this article the Cosponsor Count is as follows: H.R.592 - 234 | S.314 - 33.
If you are interested in becoming a pharmacist, getting involved and advocating for pharmacist provider status within federal Medicare legislation is an innovative way of becoming involved in the pharmacy profession. Visit www.pharmacistsprovidecare.com on how to get involved.
*Source: National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) November 2015 Newsletter.