Ensuring that “Pharmacists” are recognized as healthcare providers under the Social Security Act is an action item well overdue on all of our agendas. The barriers many patients face, because of this omission in the federal law, is unnecessarily preventing affordable access to pharmacists’ services, particularly for Medicare beneficiaries. Even when we already know what we need to do to change this, many of us are standing still, as though we are waiting for someone to grant us permission to take action. Permission Granted.
In Daniel Ashby’s 2011 Harvey A. Whitney Lecture titled “Permission Granted” he discusses the meaning behind the expression "permission granted”. He acknowledges that motivation is an effective leaders’ drive to achieve beyond expectations. Currently, the leaders in pharmacy are working towards ACHIEVING provider status, evident by the formation of the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition earlier this year. Some are complacent with the feeling that “we are already healthcare providers”, but those with a true passion for the profession of pharmacy are motivated to ensure this becomes part of the law. The effective leader in pharmacy actively declares that a pharmacist is capable of assuming the responsibility of managing chronic disease states; takes pride in our job as health care providers; and can readily demonstrate how advanced pharmacy practice improves outcomes and decreases costs at their institution.
If you can identify with the capabilities of the effective leader then you have already given yourself permission to take action.
Allow me to test your capabilities and outline 5 simple steps towards legislative action as they pertain to ensuring the HR4190 becomes a Senate bill:
Step 1: Familiarize yourself with HR 4190: http://www.ashp.org/DocLibrary/Advocacy/HR-4190.pdf
Step 2: Take a minute to send an email, or letter, of support to your elected official asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 4190.
Are you a student member? Use the highly effective Student Pharmacist Link: http://www.cqrengage.com/ashp/students (NEW!)
Are you a practitioner? Get your colleagues (pharmacists, nurses, etc.) at your organization to co-sign your letter of support for H.R. 4190.
Step 3: Tell YOUR story as a patient care provider: http://www.ashp.org/menu/Advocacy/GrassrootsNetwork/Advocacy-Resources
Step 4: I encourage everyone to learn more about ASHP's Political Action Committee and the role it plays in educating members of Congress about provider status and the other issues that impact our profession.
Step 5: Grant the next pharmacist you encounter permission to follow steps 1-4.
HR 4190 currently has 71 co-sponsors as of 7.21.2014.
You can follow the updated list of co-sponsors of HR 4190 through the Library of Congress:
And, do stay connected, let the ASHP family know when you have joined the provider status team: @ASHPOfficial, @ASHPStudents, @ASHPNewPract
A Future Pharmacist
Angela N. Skaff
PharmD Candidate, Class of 2015
Palm Beach Atlantic University
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