ASCP Commends CMS’ Consideration of Provider Status Under Medicare
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Posted by: Michael Castanon
Washington, D.C. – ASCP applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma for the agency’s comments considering adding pharmacists as providers. Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals and consistently ranked as one of the most trusted in the health care system, but they have not been able to bill Medicare Part B for their services. ASCP has long advocated for pharmacists to be recognized as providers under the Social Security Act and this recent development is the result of years of hard work and collaboration with other pharmacy organizations to educate legislators and lawmakers of the importance of pharmacist’s clinical expertise. Recognizing pharmacists as Medicare providers will help combat many of the nation’s most pressing public health issues.
Pharmacists and their clinical medication management services are not included in the section of the Social Security Act (SSA) that allows clinicians to bill Medicare Part B. Medicare Part B covers medically necessary services, which is classified as ambulatory services, outpatient care, preventative services, the coverage of durable medical equipment, and intermittent and/or part-time rehabilitative and home health services. This omission greatly hinders pharmacist’s ability to provide patients with critical patient-centered services such as medication management, medication reviews, patient education, chronic disease management, disease education, and prevention and wellness services.
Allowing pharmacists to practice at the top of their license has garnered consistent widespread support from both Republicans and Democrats, and this step forward is part of a comprehensive approach to finding solutions for high drug prices. ASCP is proud to continue our work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to improve patient access to care by allowing pharmacists to serve as providers.