NCPA urges CMS to recognize pharmacist services beyond dispensing

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ALEXANDRIA, Va.  — In comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Community Pharmacists Association urged the agency to enhance coverage of pharmacist-provided care services and reevaluate strict supervision requirements as well as coverage policies for incident-to services. In response to President Trump’s Executive Order #13890 on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors, CMS had sought such input from stakeholders on eliminating specific Medicare regulations that require more stringent supervision than existing state laws, or that limit health professionals from practicing at the top of their licenses.

In addition to emphasizing that pharmacists improve patient care and outcomes when collaborating with health care professionals, NCPA noted that restrictive regulations currently hinder pharmacists’ ability to continue providing this care at the federal level, especially when state laws are already expanding to allow health care practitioners to contribute fully to patient care. NCPA will continue engaging with CMS to educate the agency about the importance of allowing pharmacists to practice at the top of their professional licenses and education.

Ronna Hauser, NCPA’s vice president of policy and government affairs operations, said, “Community pharmacists are among America’s most accessible health care providers, seeing complex patients an average of 35 times each year. We encourage policymakers to work toward eliminating barriers that limit additional patient access to pharmacist-provided care services such as prescribing to treat strep or flu, smoking cessation and counseling services when distributing naloxone, and to facilitate pharmacists’ inclusion on patient care teams and in value-based delivery models.”

NCPA’s full comments to CMS can be found here. NCPA also signed on to joint pharmacy comments to CMS, which can be found here.



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