For Immediate Release
NACDS Backs Bill to Open State-Approved Pharmacist Services to Medicare Patients
Bipartisan House bill designating pharmacists as healthcare providers in Medicare Part B leverages pharmacists’ education to improve healthcare access and outcomes
January 28, 2015 (Arlington, Va.) – Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today would formally designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under Medicare Part B. Supported by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to provide to Medicare patients in underserved communities services that pharmacists already are providing for other patients under state law.
The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592) – introduced by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Todd Young (R-IN) and Ron Kind (D-WI) – would elevate pharmacists’ ability to improve patient health. Specifically, Medicare patients would gain enhanced access to pharmacists’ expertise and pharmacy services, including immunizations, diabetes screenings and self-management education, cardiovascular screenings and behavioral therapy, in states in which pharmacists are allowed to provide these services.
“We applaud the leadership of Reps. Guthrie, Butterfield, Young and Kind in introducing this bipartisan, commonsense legislation,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “The provider status designation will amplify pharmacists’ ability to do what they do best – serve patients and help them on the road to better health.”