Pharmacy Issues at the Federal Level
While we can't afford to be in Washington on a regular basis, PPA does work closely with a number of National Associations on their advocacy efforts on the federal level. PPA receives regular communications from various national groups, is in regular contact with staff of several associations, attends national pharmacy conferences, and assists in lobbying the Pennsylvania congressional delegation.
Pharmacists Provide Care is APhA's national advocacy campaign to achieve "provider status," which will allow pharmacists to be recognized as health care providers under the law. Being recognized as health care providers is critical to creating and expanded job opportunities.
Additionally, NACDS is promoting "provider status" for pharmacists at the national level by advocating for the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592 / S.109). These bills would allow Medicare Part B to utilize pharmacists to their full capability by providing services to underserved beneficiaries. Pennsylvania's over 16,000 pharmacists can play a vital role in enhancing access to patient care in the 59 counties currently designated as "medically underserved.
Direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees levied on pharmacy providers result in enormous clawbacks taken from community pharmacies weeks or months after prescriptions are filled. Such retroactive fees on pharmacies can artificially inflate patient costs and force Medicare beneficiaries into the "coverage gap" sooner. NCPA is actively working to combat this issue and is supporting the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act (H.R.1038 / S.413), which would ban retroactive payment reductions and increase transparency.
Highlights of PPA's Efforts
Proposal Would Help Medically Underserved Areas - Ed Bechtel (December 20, 2015)
Recognize pharmacists as providers under Medicare, help system for seniors - Patricia Epple (August 25, 2015)