Pharmacy's Help to Patients During ACA Implementation Earns White House Invitation

Published Online: Monday, May 5, 2014
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May 5, 2014-- Increasingly, pharmacy’s long-standing commitment to helping patients is taking the industry to exciting places. Last Thursday, it took pharmacy to The White House – again.

NACDS representatives were among those invited to a May 1 reception – attended by President Obama and the First Lady – to thank those who worked to smooth the experience of patients with the transition to exchange-based insurance at the beginning of this year.

As quoted in an article in Politico, a White House official described attendees at last Thursday’s event as “the broad and diverse group of stakeholders who helped to enroll Americans in quality affordable health plans, and get information out about their healthcare options, including consumer groups, techies, pharmacies, hospitals, athletes, celebrities, mayors and other local elected officials and community leaders.”

In the weeks leading up to January 1, 2014, NACDS and member companies worked closely with the Administration to “war-room” and to confront potential obstacles for the newly insured and for those adjusting to new coverage. In late 2013, NACDS participated in White House meetings and calls to help coordinate amid the changing landscape.

NACDS has emphasized the importance of putting patients first and helping them understand the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – similar to pharmacy’s historic education efforts during the rollout of Medicare Part D, the response to H1N1, a consistent and concerted national flu vaccination campaign, and the providing of necessary goods and services during natural disasters.

A column written by NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, in September 2013, said, “When it comes right down to it, patients will have questions about healthcare and they will expect and hope that their pharmacies will have at least some of the answers. Living up to that trust is just part of what pharmacies are.”

While pharmacy’s commitment to patient care has long served as a hallmark of the industry, the level of recognition of pharmacy’s value is reaching new heights. Showing up more frequently on the guest list at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue serves as a tribute to the men and women of pharmacy, for whom patient care is everything – and for whom patient care is nothing new.
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