NCPA to CMS: Recognize pharmacist services beyond dispensing

Sandra Levy
Senior Editor
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The National Community Pharmacists Association is highlighting pharmacists' expanding role in health care to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In comments submitted to the agency, NCPA is urging CMS to enhance coverage of pharmacist-provided care services and reevaluate strict supervision requirements, as well as coverage policies for incident-to services.

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order #13890 on Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors, CMS sought input from stakeholders on eliminating specific Medicare regulations that require more stringent supervision than existing state laws, or that limit health professionals from practicing at the top of their licenses.In addition to emphasizing that pharmacists improve patient care and outcomes when collaborating with health care professionals, NCPA argues in its comments that restrictive regulations currently hinder pharmacists’ ability to continue providing this care at the federal level, especially when state laws are already expanding to allow health care practitioners to contribute fully to patient care.

“Community pharmacists are among America’s most accessible health care providers, seeing complex patients an average of 35 times each year," said Ronna Hauser, NCPA’s vice president of policy and government affairs operations. "We encourage policymakers to work toward eliminating barriers that limit additional patient access to pharmacist-provided care services such as prescribing to treat strep or flu, smoking cessation and counseling services when distributing naloxone, and to facilitate pharmacists’ inclusion on patient care teams and in value-based delivery models.”