October 25, 2022 | Category: Press Releases
Over 50 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Support H.R. 7213 to Ensure Medicare Beneficiary Access to Essential Pharmacist Care Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 25, 2022 – During American Pharmacists Month, the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition is calling on Congress to heed the call of more than 200 groups across communities and over 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to enact H.R. 7213, bipartisan federal legislation that would ensure patients maintain access to essential pandemic and pandemic-related health services provided by pharmacists. The Coalition recognizes the role of pharmacists in providing essential care and services to patients across the nation, including seniors and other vulnerable communities. Pharmacists have been a first line of defense during the pandemic, providing testing, vaccination, and treatment initiation for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Earlier this year, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), David McKinley (R-WV), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), and Buddy Carter (R-GA) introduced H.R. 7213, the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act, legislation that would ensure Medicare Part B beneficiaries can benefit from pharmacist services for COVID-19 and similar diseases, including testing, immunization, and treatment initiation. The legislation establishes a reimbursement pathway for those services and ensures that seniors have access to these pharmacy and pharmacist-provided services where permitted by state law and during future public health emergencies. To date, more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed on to cosponsor the legislation.
H.R. 7213 would ensure continued access, especially for marginalized rural and urban populations, to important pharmacist services related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other illnesses, including:
- Testing: COVID-19, Influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and Strep Throat
- Treatment: COVID-19, Influenza, and Strep Throat
- Vaccinations: COVID-19 and Influenza
“During American Pharmacists Month, we commend pharmacists in all healthcare settings for their dedicated work to provide care and services for communities across our country,” said Ilisa BG Bernstein, interim CEO and executive vice president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), and Paul W. Abramowitz, CEO of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). “H.R. 7213 would create the infrastructure and pathway that empowers pharmacists to meet the needs of senior communities now and during any future public health emergency. Congress should act to ensure that pharmacists continue to have this capacity.”
According to a national survey, 82% of older Americans agree that the government should reimburse pharmacists for providing testing, vaccination, and treatment for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The same national survey found that more than 54% of older Americans strongly agree that Congress should cover pharmacist services for testing, vaccination, and treatment for infectious diseases such as flu, strep throat, COVID-19, and RSV.
More than 200 organizations, including physician and provider groups, patient advocacy organizations, health equity groups, rural health groups, pharmacists, health systems, and many others across communities, support H.R. 7213.
Click here to see the complete list of groups supporting H.R. 7213.
Click here to see the full text of H.R. 7213, the Equitable Community Access to Pharmacist Services Act.
About the Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition
The Future of Pharmacy Care Coalition comprises American healthcare companies and professional associations that together provide care for hundreds of millions of patients across communities and represent pharmacists and community pharmacies of all sizes across the U.S. Coalition membership includes Abbott, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, Health Mart, Kroger Health, McKesson, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and Walgreens. Learn more at PharmacyCare.org.