Expanding Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Services

The Solution: Improve Access to Care

Pharmacists - The SolutionPharmacists are already well-trained and on the ground in underserved communities, willing and able to provide vital care to those in need. PAPCC strongly supports bipartisan federal legislation – H.R. 592/S. 109 – that would amend Medicare and increase medically underserved seniors’ access to health-care through pharmacist-provided care.

H.R. 591/S. 109 would build on existing law that allows nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) to be reimbursed by Medicare by covering services delivered by pharmacists. Patient access to health-care would be increased by allowing Medicare to reimburse pharmacists for providing services that would otherwise be provided by physicians as long as such activity is permitted by the laws and regulations of the state in which the pharmacist practices. Similar to the law for NPs and PAs, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act would limit rates to 80 or 85 percent of what would be paid to physicians, helping limit Medicare spending while improving access.

H.R. 592 is sponsored by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI). S. 109 is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Susan Collins, (R-ME), Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA), and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Click here for the text of the bills, latest lists of cosponsors, and other developments.