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California bill wants broader role for pharmacists
March 13th, 2013
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – New legislation in California aims to officially recognize pharmacists in the state as health care providers.
The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) said Wednesday that the legislation, introduced by State Sen. Ed Hernandez, is intended to expand the use of pharmacists to meet community health care needs.
The bill is sponsored by Californians for Accessible Health Care, a coalition that includes CPhA as well as the California Society of Health System Pharmacists (CSHP), California Association of Nurse Practitioners and the California Optometric Association.
"We thank Sen. Hernandez for introducing this legislation, which allows highly-trained pharmacists to be recognized as health care providers," CPhA chief executive officer Jon Roth said in a statement. "Acknowledging pharmacists as providers will allow them to provide expanded services to their patients while filling a void that is absolutely critical to ensuring that Californians who will receive insurance through the Medi-Cal program in 2014 have a place to access that care."
CPhA noted that the association and CSHP worked with Hernandez on the issue to help address a shortage of health care providers in Californa and to ease the transition of more than 7 million Californians who will get health insurance in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.
"Pharmacists are appropriately trained to do far more than what most are allowed to do in practice currently," CPhA stated. "With the impending number of new beneficiaries coming into the system, coupled with California's primary care shortage, the need for pharmacists to be recognized as health care providers has never been greater and will help create pathways for them to begin operating at the top of their education and training."