APhA asks pharmacists, techs to lobby Congress for provider status

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A healthcare worker giving a vaccine to a person.

APhA asks pharmacists, techs to lobby Congress for provider status

By Sandra Levy - 07/23/2020

The American Pharmacists Association is sending out an urgent call to all pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists to contact their members of Congress to authorize pharmacists as healthcare providers under Medicare Part B for COVID-19 and flu testing and vaccination. 

“Congress will vote on final COVID-19 funding and authorizations within the next several days,” said Michael Hogue, APhA president. “Pharmacists, our moment has come and we need everyone to mobilize in reaching out to Congress today. Your profession needs your help, so please take action and ask your colleagues to do the same. This takes less than two minutes and is vital to the profession.”

“This is our opportunity to achieve provider status and help patients during these challenging times. We cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity – pharmacists are easy to reach and ready to serve,” said APhA in a statement.

Additionally, on Friday APhA delivered a letter to the majority and minority leaders of Congress, stating, “America’s pharmacists stand ready and able to provide the patient care services necessary to help meet the public health needs created by the spread of the coronavirus. To unleash the full potential of pharmacists’ contributions for testing and immunization, Congress must designate pharmacists as providers under Medicare Part B for COVID-19, influenza, and RSV testing and immunization.”

APhA noted, “More than 360,000 pharmacists have been trained to administer vaccines for patients of all ages. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care provider and provide care and services in a wide variety of practice settings in communities across our nation – making them uniquely qualified to reduce clinical burdens and improve patient health.”

APhA executive vice president and CEO Scott Knoer, said, “Physicians, pharmacists, and all providers must work together for optimal medication therapy and patient safety. We all know that outcomes improve, lives are saved, and costs are contained when the entire health care team is involved. We are calling on all health care providers who know that including pharmacists in the next COVID-19 package is the right thing to do and to take action.”

To contact federal legislators click here.  

For more information, contact Mary-Ryan Douglass at [email protected]