APhA calls for health care reform to include pharmacist clinica
WASHINGTON — As the American Health Care Act — the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — makes its way through Congress, the American Pharmacists Association is weighing in on what it says would be an ideal addition to any health care reform efforts: patient access to pharmacist-provided services and affordable, safe medications.
“Consistent with our recommendations related to the Affordable Care Act … and other health care reforms, APhA continues to call for policies that support patient access to and coverage of —pharmacists’ patient care services, the pharmacy of their choice, and safe and affordable medications,” APhA EVP and CEO Thomas Menighan said. “An important component to providing access is ensuring adequate reimbursement to pharmacists for their patient care services and to pharmacies for medications and other products. Securing enactment of these policies increases access, improves quality and decreases costs.”
Menighan said APhA is calling for a healthcare system that best uses the skills of its practitioners, including pharmacists, to bring patients the best care and bring value to the system. One way to do so is to better incorporate pharmacists and the clinical services they can offer into the healthcare team. One key way to realize where pharmacists can be incorporated into patient care, he said, is to take a less segmented view of what coverage patients need
“We encourage Congress, when setting policies, to look beyond isolated components of health care to determine value. Because health insurance coverage is frequently analyzed by the benefit type, such as in-patient, out-patient, and drug coverage, a patient’s overall services, costs and outcomes may never be reviewed comprehensively,” Menighan said. “Congress and other policymakers cannot continue to view drug and medical coverage, and their related costs and outcomes, separately if we are to achieve true value in health care.”