NCPA calls on CMS to recognize pharmacists as care providers

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

WASHINGTON – The National Community Pharmacists Association is urging CMS to recognize pharmacist services beyond dispensing of medications.

The comments are in response to a call from CMS, which sought input on eliminating certain Medicare regulations that require more stringent supervision than existing state laws.

“Community pharmacists are among America’s most accessible health care providers, seeing complex patients an average of 35 times each year,” says Ronna Hauser, NCPA’s vice president of policy and government affairs operations. “We encourage policymakers to work toward eliminating barriers that limit additional patient access to pharmacist-provided care services…and to facilitate pharmacists’ inclusion on patient care teams and in value-based delivery models.”
Generally, the NCPA recommends CMS:

Leverage pharmacists’ expertise broadly under Medicare;

Expand service models using pharmacist-provided patient care services using CMS Innovation Center data;

Attribute and understand the contributions of pharmacists to the health of beneficiaries; and implement a general supervision requirement vs. direct supervision for services.

The NCPA also seeks clarification of the ability of pharmacists to provide diabetes self-management treatment. Although CMS recognized pharmacists as instructors in 2017, conflicting language has contributed to a lack of awareness that accredited pharmacies can bill for DSMT services.