WASHINGTON, DC — The
American Pharmacists Association will continue efforts to gain full implementation of the many pharmacy-friendly provisions of the Affordable Care Act following today’s U.S. Supreme Court 5—4 ruling upholding the constitutionality of the law.
“APhA views the Supreme Court ruling as an important opportunity for pharmacists to help patients with their medications,” stated Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, ScD, MBA, APhA CEO/Executive Vice President. “We are pleased that the many pharmacy-friendly provisions of the Affordable Care Act will remain in force as a result of today's U.S. Supreme Court decision. Pharmacists have been working diligently alongside physicians and other healthcare providers throughout this debate to continue the implementation of a system that integrates the value of pharmacist clinical services and delivers the best quality healthcare to all Americans. These have been important tenets no matter what approach for healthcare reform our law makers took.”
Menighan added, “Today's ruling means that important elements of the law will stand, including closure of the doughnut hole and opportunities for pharmacist inclusion as members of the health care team in medical homes and accountable care organizations. We will continue to look for every opportunity to collaborate with our health care colleagues to improve patient care.”
The health care access opportunities for millions of Americans are significantly affected by the outcomes of this decision. According to a recent perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the ACA will lead to “the largest expansion of health care coverage since Medicare was established in 1965,” reaching approximately 32 million of 50 million uninsured Americans.
Many pharmacists and pharmacies have begun to implement changes facilitated through the provisions of healthcare reform that are instrumental to the health of our nation. Pharmacists’ clinical services can now be built-up and expanded with the continuation of ACA. Some pertinent areas of ACA for pharmacists’ services include:
Brian Gallagher, BSPharm, JD, APhA's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs added, “With ACA now set to proceed toward implementation of the individual mandate in 2014, APhA will engage our members in reviewing and seeking needed changes in regulations as they are developed, and we will work with our colleagues in state pharmacy associations as exchanges are developed.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The constitutionality of the entire Act was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in a landmark decision on June 28, 2012.