NCPA Supports Bill to Expand Pharmacists' Role

The National Community Pharmacists Association has endorsed H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which was introduced by U.S. Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) , Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.). The bill permits state-licensed pharmacists in medically underserved communities to both provide and be reimbursed for an expanded scope of patient-care services under the Medicare Part B program. In response, NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement:

PRESS RELEASE

Alexandria, Va. Jan. 28, 2015 - The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has endorsed H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which was introduced by U.S. Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) , Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.). The bill permits state-licensed pharmacists in medically underserved communities to both provide and be reimbursed for an expanded scope of patient-care services under the Medicare Part B program. In response, NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement:

"NCPA and its pharmacy allies have for years advocated broadening the array of services these clinically-trained medication experts can provide to patients. Momentum continues to grow with the introduction of H.R. 592, a bill that benefits patients who otherwise have limited health care options — those in underserved communities.

"Independent community pharmacies are particularly well-positioned to better help patients through expanded 'provider status.' They already play a vital role in underserved communities. Their importance in rural America is illustrated by the facts that over 70 percent of independent community pharmacies are located in towns of 50,000 people or less and in approximately 1,800 rural towns independent community pharmacies are the sole pharmacy providers available. In addition, within urban areas independent community pharmacies play a disproportionately large role serving patients.

"This common-sense legislation deserves support from the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and President."

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 statementon the legislation.

###

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of nearly 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.8 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more, go towww.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.