2020 Pharmacist Provider Status. Is This the Year?

2020 Pharmacist Provider Status is being considered by the Trump administration. This is a good thing for the profession and more importantly, a good thing for patients. There were a couple of quotes from CMS Administrator Seema Verma with regards to provider status that really demonstrates that it could be on the way. Here are the comments when questioned about provider status.

“That was something the president mentioned in his executive order, Medicare executive order, that’s one of the changes I think we’re looking at … I think you’ll see in this year’s rulemaking there are a few proposals out there about creating more flexibility and allowing providers to operate to the top of their license.”

“As part of the executive order we’re going to look more closely at this next year, as well, to look at this across the board to see what we could do, even more. The idea here is, based on the challenges that you all are facing, we need to create better accessibility and we need to make sure that we have providers on the front lines, and I think that regulations have been a barrier often to that.”

I’m reading between the lines here, but what other profession is constrained by CMS the way that pharmacy is? In addition, accessibility is a huge issue. Adding a pharmacist to the team to manage disease states like diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and many others is easy and a no-brainer.

I think virtually everyone in the profession of pharmacy would be thrilled if CMS would begin to recognize pharmacists as providers. I remain optimistic and ultimately believe it will happen. Some of the longest fights in my life have been the most rewarding in the end. 2020 Pharmacist Provider Status could be a reality and there is a chance that the legislature doesn’t even need to act.

CMS is now asking for comments regarding this Executive Order. They have already relaxed physician assistant oversight through this process. Please take the time to provide comments by 1/17/20 on why pharmacists should be recognized as providers to open up access to health care professionals and promote Patients over Paperwork.

I try not to ask for much from those of you following the blog, but here’s one time where your action can make a difference. To those that think one email doesn’t matter, you are wrong and I’ve seen it time and time again in my career. Please send an email message about the value that pharmacists can provide and indicate the regulatory burdens of CMS that are inhibiting us from working at the top of our license.

Please take the time to email CMS by Friday this week!

The deadline to submit your Scope of Practice recommendations that would allow pharmacists to practice at the top of our license is January 17, 2020! Send your emails to: PatientsOverPaperwork@cms.hhs.gov with the phrase “Scope of Practice” in the subject line.

What if our collective emails put us over the top?

Eric Christianson, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP

Written By Eric Christianson

January 15, 2020

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