APhA Outlines Health Care Reform for Pharmacists

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) recently announced the release of a new resource to help pharmacists unravel components of President Obama’s health care bill that are closely tied to the pharmacy profession.

Designed to provide a high-level overview of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its impact on pharmacies, the 99-page document is divided into 19 topics addressing everything from Medicare and pharmacy benefit managers to clinical issues, such as pain care and disease prevention. “The chart is very much for people who just want to know broadly what’s in the bill. It’s an easy way to educate yourself,” said Allison Wiley, APhA’s Political Action Manager.

The chart lists a summary of relevant sections of the bill, effective dates and timelines for their implementation, and, if applicable, the status of funding related to the section in question. Highlighted throughout are key words, phrases, and paragraphs that refer to issues APhA has identified as its top priorities—including immunization, prescription drug sample transparency, generic biologics, chronic disease management, and pharmacy reimbursement, among others.

The pharmacy-friendly document is just one branch of APhA’s strategic effort to involve pharmacists in the process of heath care reform implementation. In a recent entry on his blog, APhA chief executive officer Tom Menighan wrote that APhA is also honing in on committees, panels, and commissions formed by the act. “We are sorting out which ones are most critical in our quest to promote patient access to pharmacists’ services,” he said.

To keep pharmacists updated on key developments in health care reform, the association has established a Health Care Reform Hub and Facebook page as well.