In a speech at the annual meeting of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in Los Angeles on March 3, 2013, APhA president-elect Steven Simenson, BSPharm, emphasized the association’s goal of attaining provider status for pharmacists.
“To get the most value for their health care dollars, patients need policy makers to add pharmacists to the list of providers in the Social Security Act,” Simenson said. “Patients need pharmacists to be specifically named in any new payment model created within the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and innovative practice models need to incorporate pharmacists as valued members of the health care team. To make these changes a reality, pharmacists need to recognize their own potential and take action.”
In order to convince policy makers to act, Simenson noted, it will be important to present pharmacists as part of the solution to the nation’s ongoing fiscal crisis and economic struggles. “Washington relies on economic analysis to determine benefits,” Simenson said. “APhA is planning a simulated congressional assessment of the value and costs of including pharmacists in the Social Security Act. Patients with complex medical conditions benefit from pharmacists’ clinical services, and literature and practice-based experiences have shown that when a pharmacist gets involved, overall health care costs go down while quality and patient safety improve.”