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Reps. seek sponsors for MTM bill


NEW YORK — Two members of Congress are looking for co-sponsors for a bill that would strengthen the medication therapy management benefit in the Medicare prescription drug program.

Last year, Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ala.; and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., introduced H.R. 891, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act, which would allow elderly people with at least one chronic condition access to Medicare Part D coverage for MTM. Currently, only those with multiple conditions are eligible.

In late January, Ross and Rodgers sent a letter to other members of the House of Representatives seeking co-sponsors for the bill. "There is significant evidence that MTM improves care and saves money," the two wrote, mentioning that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield of Maryland found in a study last year that for every dollar spent on MTM, $10 was saved in avoided healthcare costs.

The letter drew praise from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. "Pharmacist-administered MTM services allow a clinically trained pharmacist to conduct one-to-one counseling sessions with patients to help ensure the best combinations of medicines are taken properly," NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson said. "MTM is just one of many services provided by pharmacists that demonstrate the unsurpassed value of community pharmacy. These services can improve health and reduce healthcare costs across the board."

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