Today, ASHP met with officials from the White House and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss the need to expand patient access to pharmacist services.
During the meeting with White House officials, ASHP focused on ensuring payment for pharmacist services, particularly for COVID-19 treatment. In addition to discussing options for direct payment for pharmacists, which would require legislative action, ASHP noted that regulatory changes allowing physicians to bill incident-to for pharmacists’ services at a level commensurate with their complexity and duration would increase patient access, and encouraged the White House to support provider status legislation to support test-to-treat services for Medicare beneficiaries.
Additionally, the White House raised concerns around continued confusion related to the clinical guidelines for prescribing Paxlovid, including when it can be dispensed in hospitals. ASHP will assist in additional outreach to our members and other prescriber groups to highlight the most up-to-date guidelines for Paxlovid.
ASHP’s meeting with CMS officials focused on leveraging pharmacists to initiate therapy for Medicaid patients. Specifically, ASHP again encouraged CMS to build on previous communications to states noting that Medicaid programs are expected to reimburse COVID-19 vaccination and treatment services when those services are provided by clinicians, including pharmacists, authorized by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.
ASHP also raised concerns about continuing limitations on the ability of pharmacists to independently initiate therapy for influenza.
ASHP will continue to work closely with federal agencies to push for full engagement of pharmacists in patient care services, as well as for appropriate reimbursement for those services.