More Than 100 Members of Congress Support Increasing Patient Access to Health Care Through Pharmacists

April 22, 2015

The bill will improve access to health care through pharmacists and their patient care services.

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Pharmacists Association announced that H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, has achieved outstanding support. The bill, which will improve patient access to health care through pharmacists and their patient care services, has gained 104 co-sponsors since its introduction at the end of January.

With 56 Republican and 46 Democratic co-sponsors, H.R. 592 has maintained a bipartisan consensus since it was first introduced by U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Members, Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and House Ways and Means Committee Members, Todd Young (R-IN) and Ron Kind (D-WI). H.R. 592 enables patient access to, and coverage of, Medicare Part B services provided by pharmacists in medically underserved communities.

“At a time when prescription drug use and primary care physician shortages are both on the rise, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act is a critical legislative fix that would allow millions of Americans who lack adequate access to health care to gain access to the quality services of pharmacists,” said Thomas E. Menighan, APhA Executive Vice President and CEO. “We are pleased by the momentum behind this legislation, which acknowledges the role of pharmacists on the health care team and will help improve the health care outcomes for those patients who need it the most.”

If passed, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act would enable Medicare patients living in Medically Underserved communities to access important services that pharmacists can provide, including medication management, chronic disease management and preventative screenings. Companion legislation in the Senate -- S. 314 introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) -- now has 10 co-sponsors.