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Washington, D.C. – On July 16, 2012, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) participated in the White House Community Leaders Briefing on Seniors Issues with Vice President Joe Biden and other Obama Administration officials. The briefing brought light to several topics, including access to healthcare for seniors, improving patient outcomes, and current legislative proposals.
Jon Carson, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, opened the briefing with a few remarks, followed by Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living at the Department of Health and Human Services, and Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council.
Vice President Joe Biden gave a candid account of his experiences while caring for his aging parents. He also relayed the Administration’s hope of improving upon Medicare and Medicaid as well as his disdain for legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives that would, in the Administration’s opinion, limit this goal. In his comments, the Vice President also mentioned working across party lines to find common ground in healthcare legislative proposals.
Prior to the Vice President’s remarks, ASCP Government Affairs Manager Christine Sequenzia Titus took the rare opportunity to engage a panel of administration officials directly. “The Administration and Congress have widely regarded electronic health records (EHRs) as a key component in coordinating our fragmented health care system and improving patient outcomes,” said Sequenzia Titus. “The Affordable Care Act passed over funding EHRs in nursing homes. Does the administration have plans to include or support funding for EHRs in the future?”
In response, Assistant Secretary Greenlee and Keith Fontenot of the Office of Management and Budget acknowledged the important role EHRs play in patient outcomes and offered to work with ASCP toward implementation in nursing homes.
ASCP staff will continue this dialogue with the White House and others in the Administration to address issues relating to the healthcare of seniors, while empowering consultant pharmacists with the right tools to improve patient outcomes.