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Pharmacist Provider Status and the 2016 Election

Whenever dramatic changes happen, I like to sit back and let the new reality set in for a little while before reacting to it.  The election of Donald Trump as president was surprising to me like it was to many.  Many pharmacists like me are wondering what does the election mean for pharmacist provider status legislation.  Fear for the legislation was the first thing that came to mind.  We are trained to react negatively when things don’t go as anticipated.  I honestly don’t know what is going to happen, but I’ve got a one word prediction that will be correct.  Change.

Many of my colleagues have worked tirelessly to help pharmacists expand the scope of being able to bill for clinical services.  For those of you that are discouraged or think it isn’t going to happen due to an election, my advice would be to not sulk, whine, or give up.  Keep going.

When you don’t feel like the “change” is something you want, you tend to forget about the positives of change. If you couldn’t tell, I’m an optimist.  If healthcare does hit a reset button, we NEED to be at the table. The ones who are at the table actively engaging, talking about, and proving their value will get what they want.  Pharmacists more than any other healthcare profession has a compelling case to make regarding the value we can provide.  Change means opportunity to reshape the future.

I was highly encouraged that the Veteran’s Administration is figuring out just how valuable clinical pharmacists are to the healthcare team.  In this recent article, it perfectly demonstrated the patient satisfaction component with shorter lines and high quality chronic disease management.  Stories are incredibly powerful tools.  Leverage this article when writing your legislators and help them understand that expansion of clinical pharmacists throughout the private sector of healthcare would be a fantastic thing for patients.

Want more encouragement?

Look at the list of House of Representative Co-Sponsors (there are a lot of Republicans on the list)

Look at the list of Senate Co-Sponsors (again, huge bipartisan support)

Why is there so much bipartisan support and why do I feel something will get done?  I’m a believer in common sense.  Provider status is common sense.

  1. Everyone is looking to lower the cost of healthcare.  Clinical pharmacists can do that.
  2. No one wants to go to the hospital. We can help reduce the risk of that.
  3. Everyone is looking for improved patient access.  Clinical pharmacists can help with that.
  4. Everyone wants better patient satisfaction.  We can help there too.
  5. Every patient and politician wants their healthcare professional to be trustworthy.  We’re #2 on the list right behind nurses.

I will be sending notes to my congressional leaders this weekend.  My hope is that you will set aside 30-60 minutes of your life and mail or email your congressmen and women, so that when changes are made, we have a seat at the table demonstrating the value that we all know we bring.

 

 

 

Written By Eric Christianson

November 13, 2016

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