Healthcare Organizations Call on Policymakers to Help Americans Obtain Needed Care from Pharmacists

Pharmacist-provided care, as a part of patient-centered team-based care, has an important role to play in improving access to care, patient experiences and health outcomes.

The COVID crisis has multiplied the importance and urgency of access to high-quality care, especially among vulnerable populations and individuals with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. These patients are more likely to suffer severe COVID-19 illness. Even before the pandemic, these conditions were leading drivers of healthcare costs, hospitalizations, premature deaths, disability and lost productivity.

In response to this situation, 22 organizations in a coalition led by the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention’s Value & Access Steering Committee have issued a joint policy statement that declares support for sustainable care delivery models that include patient access to pharmacist care and other services. It calls on policymakers to utilize pharmacists to expand access to evidence-based care and expand access to testing and vaccination.

Individuals in many states are not able to obtain evidence-based care from pharmacists. This is primarily due to scope of practice limitations and unsustainable care models. Policy changes can overcome these barriers and meaningfully expand access to care for patients nationwide.

PQA is dedicated to improving medication quality. We’re focused on whether medication is safe, appropriate for the patient, taken as needed, and delivering good outcomes. From increasing medication access to expanding medication therapy management to leveraging pharmacists to meet patients where they are, PQA leads and supports work to advance the quality of medication use.

We support the tenets in this joint policy statement because we agree that pharmacists are key providers in team-based care that improves patient experience, health outcomes and cost-effectiveness.

Pharmacist-provided care can advance the quality of medication use. As this care and related services become more broadly available and effectively utilized, we will be able to develop new standard pharmacy performance measures that further demonstrate pharmacists’ contributions to high-quality, patient-centered care.

The National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention believes Congress’ next COVID-19 emergency bill may be the best opportunity to get its policy recommendations related to the expansion of pharmacist-provided care enacted. If you agree with these recommendations, you can use this online tool to email your representatives and senators in support of the recommendations.

Harnessing the accessibility and clinical expertise of pharmacists across the country to support access to COVID-19 and other care can benefit patients and help us meet our national public health and health care quality goals.

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