Bill Would Ensure Seniors Can Access Pharmacist-Provided Healthcare Services
Today, ASHP applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would ensure pharmacists can continue providing seniors with access to essential care and services to prevent, diagnose, and treat common infectious diseases.
The Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act (S. 2477), introduced by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Mark Warner (D-VA), establishes Medicare Part B reimbursements for pharmacist-provided services, including:
- Testing: COVID-19, flu, RSV, and strep throat
- Treatment: COVID-19, flu, and strep throat
- Vaccinations: COVID-19 and flu
The bill is the Senate’s version of House legislation (H.R. 1770), which was introduced in March by Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and pharmacists Buddy Carter (R-GA) and Diana Harshbarger (R-TN).Together the two bills represent a critical effort to ensure seniors, especially those in rural and underserved communities, can maintain access to pharmacist care.
“We commend bipartisan lawmakers for introducing legislation to protect the essential role of pharmacists in delivering vital care and services to America’s seniors,” said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP. “Pharmacists have been on the frontlines supporting the nation through unprecedented public health challenges. Medicare beneficiaries, including those in rural and underserved communities across the country, have come to rely on pharmacists as critical healthcare providers. Ensuring Medicare patients can access essential pharmacist services is imperative, and we call on Congress to act swiftly to support this legislation.”
ASHP is an executive committee member of the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition, a group that represents pharmacists and community pharmacies of all sizes serving millions of patients daily across the U.S. Other coalition members supporting the legislation include the American Pharmacists Association, Abbott, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Health Mart, Kroger, McKesson, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Walgreens, and Walmart.
The full text of the legislation can be found here.