NCPA Endorses U.S. House Bill to Expand Pharmacists' Participation in Medically Underserved Areas
Alexandria, Va. March 11, 2014 - Today H.R 4190 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Todd Young (R-IN). The bill allows state-licensed pharmacists in traditionally underserved communities to participate in and be reimbursed for a broader array of patient-care services in the Medicare Part B program. In response, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement:
"Independent community pharmacies often care for underserved patients in rural and urban areas alike. Most of these providers are located in smaller communities and approximately 1,800 independents are the only pharmacy option in their rural communities. In other areas, independent pharmacies cater to diverse populations for whom English may be a second language. In these scenarios and others, independent community pharmacists are ideally positioned to play a greater role in health care, so NCPA is proud to support this legislation."
NCPA is a part of the Patient Access to Pharmacists' Care Coalition (PAPCC)—a group of more than 20 organizations representing patients, pharmacists, and pharmacies, as well as other interested stakeholders—dedicated to ensuring the full capabilities of pharmacists are recognized and compensated as America seeks to improve the delivery of health care for patients. PAPCC has also issued a joint statement for these different organizations on the legislation.