Happy New Year! As we begin 2013, I felt it was important to give you a preview of ASHP’s efforts on one of our top strategic priorities—achieving provider status for pharmacists.
Achieving provider status under Section 1861 of the Social Security Act is important for the profession. It is essential to recognize pharmacists for the patient-care providers that they already are, along with other formally recognized providers, such as nurse practitioners, dietitians, psychologists, social workers, optometrists, nurse-midwives, dentists, and others.
In my “From the CEO” column in ASHP InterSections, I talk about what provider status means to the profession and the steps we are taking to achieve this important recognition.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the column. Read the full version in ASHP InterSections and share ideas for demonstrating to your elected officials in Washington, D.C., the great work you are doing to achieve optimal medication therapy outcomes for your patients and to decrease health care costs.
Achieving Provider Status for Pharmacists
Pharmacists today are clinical practitioners who provide distinct direct patient-care services, serving as both pharmacy generalists and specialists. This fact is not in dispute. However, laws often lag far behind mainstream practice and technology. In today’s health care environment, where improving quality of care and decreasing costs are the focus of health care reform, there could not be a better time to recognize pharmacists as providers and as the medication-use experts on the interprofessional team.
Achieving provider status will not be easy. It will take a massive grassroots effort by individual pharmacy practitioners and affiliated state societies leading state-based coalitions. Federal legislators need to see, in their districts and states, pharmacists providing the patient-care services they seek for recognition and payment. Achieving provider status will also require a strong and cohesive national coalition of pharmacy organizations, consumer groups, and other health care organizations that understand the value pharmacists bring to the care of the American people.
Read the full column in ASHP InterSections.