News Releases - 2017

NCPA Supports Bill Recognizing Pharmacists as Health Care Providers

by NCPA | Jan 13, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 13, 2017) The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has endorsed S. 109, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which grants pharmacists health care provider status and was introduced by U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Robert Casey (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The bill recognizes pharmacists as health care providers and permits state-licensed pharmacists in medically underserved communities to both provide and be reimbursed for an expanded scope of patient-care services under the Medicare Part B program.

"Pharmacists are highly trained professionals and the most accessible health care providers for patients," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "This legislation improves access to the full array of health care services pharmacists are able to provide under their state's laws."

"Many states allow pharmacists to provide services such as health and wellness screenings, immunizations, and chronic disease state management. This legislation would expand access for seniors to these basic services at their pharmacy and free physicians in these underserved communities to focus their attention on other health needs," Hoey continued. "Many independent pharmacies serve traditionally underserved rural and urban communities and are particularly well positioned to administer to the basic health care needs of these populations. This is common-sense bipartisan legislation that improves access to care and should be swiftly enacted."

S. 109 has 27 original cosponsors and is identical to S. 314 from the 114th Congress, which was cosponsored by more than half the Senate.

NCPA is a part of the Patient Access to Pharmacists' Care Coalition (PAPCC)—a group of more than 20 organizations representing patients, pharmacists, and pharmacies, as well as other interested stakeholders—dedicated to ensuring the full capabilities of pharmacists are recognized and compensated.

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The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $81.5 billion health care marketplace and employ more than 250,000 individuals on a full or part-time basis. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.