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Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act

About the Bill

The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/ S. 314) is bipartisan legislation that will amend section 1861 (s) (2) of the Social Security Act to include pharmacists on the list of recognized healthcare providers.

Ask your member of Congress to cosponsor this important legislation that will expand access to care for patients who need the critical services that you provide.

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Our Supporters

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 592 by Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ron Kind (D-WI). A companion bill, S.314, was introduced in the Senate by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Robert Casey (D-PA ).

Brett Guthrie (R–KY)

Todd Young (R–IN)

Charles Grassley (R–IA)

G.K. Butterfield (D–NC)

Ron Kind (D–WI)

Sherrod Brown (D–OH)

Mark Kirk (R–IL)

Robert Casey (D–PA)

Bill Sponsors by State

Please click on your state to see if your member of Congress is a cosponsor of H.R. 592 and S. 314.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the bill do?
The legislation will allow pharmacists to deliver care to patients in federally defined medically underserved communities. Pharmacists would be able to offer Medicare beneficiaries the same services that they are authorized to provide by their state pharmacy practice acts.

What are medically underserved communities?
Medically underserved communities--medically underserved areas, underserved populations, and health professional shortage areas are designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration and have the greatest need for healthcare services. H.R. 592 and S. 314 can help address provider shortages and access issues for Medicare beneficiaries living in these communities.

Why does the bill only cover pharmacists’ services in medically underserved communities?
The legislation would help meet unmet health care needs in underserved areas, a significant first step toward broader provider status. This strategy follows a similar successful path taken by other health care professionals to gain recognition under Medicare. Nurse practitioners initially received the ability to provide services in rural health clinics. Later they were granted provider status in any setting.

I practice on an inpatient floor of the hospital. Will this impact how I practice?
This proposal addresses outpatient settings such as ambulatory care clinics. In 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services broadened the concept of "medical staff" to allow hospitals to grant other practitioners privileges to practice in the hospital in accordance with state law. The rule gives practitioners who live in the 45 states that allow pharmacists to enter into collaborative practice agreements more involvement in patient care.

I want to help. What can I do to help pass this legislation?
Congress. ASHP encourages members to reach out to your members of Congress via email to ask them to support legislation that addresses pharmacists' lack of provider status. A next step would be to set up a meeting with your representative at his or her district office. You should also pursue hosting the legislator at your practice site.

Contact Us

Christopher J. Topoleski
Director, Federal Legislative Affairs
(301) 664-8806
ctopoleski@ashp.org

Jillanne Schulte
Director, Federal Regulatory Affairs
(301) 664-8698
jschulte@ashp.org

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