ARLINGTON, Va. — Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to advance better care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions. The bills have received the support of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, which sent letters to Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and Peter Welch, D-Vt.
Specifically, the “Better Care, Lower Costs Act” (S. 1932 and H.R. 3890) would amend the Social Security Act to establish a Medicare Better Care Program to provide integrated care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions.
“Your legislation will promote accountability and better care management for chronically ill patients and provide coordinated services under Parts A, B and D, while recognizing that pharmacists and pharmacy services have great potential to improve care for patients with chronic health conditions,” NACDS stated in the letter.
Better Care Programs provide a coordinated care approach for patients with chronic conditions to help them manage their health.
“We support the concept of using Better Care Programs to provide fully-integrated medical care for people with chronic health conditions,” the letter stated.
The letter also emphasized the increasing role of pharmacy care and services in improving patient health and making healthcare more affordable, and the recognition by lawmakers of that increased role.
“As the demand for healthcare services continues to grow, pharmacists have expanded their role in healthcare delivery, partnering with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to meet their patients’ needs. By providing services that allow patients to take their medications more effectively and by providing preventive services, pharmacists help patients avoid more costly forms of care down the line,” NACDS stated in the letter.
“Pharmacy services improve quality of life and healthcare affordability. We are happy that the effectiveness of pharmacists in delivering patient care is resonating with policymakers,” NACDS concluded in the letter.