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ASHP Activities on the "Pharmacist Compensation" Issue

ASHP Government Affairs Division, August 2000

To expand the opportunities for pharmacist compensation, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists has undertaken the following activities:
  • Staff committee developed a strategy, laying out advocacy, educational, and public relations goals:
    • Persuade federal legislators to change the Social Security Act so that it designates pharmacists as "providers" (and thus eligible for direct payment from the Medicare and Medicaid programs).
    • Persuade private third-party payers to cover pharmacists' drug therapy management services.
    • Expand collaborative drug therapy management authority for pharmacists in state practice acts.
    • Educate members on how to (a) use existing mechanisms for obtaining pharmacist compensation for drug therapy management services and (b) comply with existing public sector payment regulations and private sector policies. 
  • Board of Directors directed staff to move forward expeditiously. 
  • Topic became new plank in the ASHP Leadership Agenda
  • ASHP Government Affairs Division (GAD) made this issue a top priority in all three of the group's components: federal legislation, federal regulations, and state government affairs. 
  • GAD launched a grassroots campaign to activate member advocacy on the issue, outlining for members specific things they can do to advance this cause, including the following actions:
    • Conduct site visits for elected officials or their staff,
    • Write letters, and
    • Attend town hall meetings and other public forums where pharmacists may have an opportunity to share their views with elected officials. 
  • GAD will be working with ASHP state affiliates to encourage them to take specific initiatives at the state level, such as working for passage of changes in practice acts to enable pharmacist collaborative drug therapy management. 
  • ASHP is already working with other organizations on this issue, including the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and the American Pharmaceutical Association. 
  • ASHP is using the expertise of individual practitioners who are doing important advocacy work on this issue. 
  • ASHP and its members have met with lawmakers during the Republican and Democratic national conventions to push for recognition of pharmacists as providers. 
  • ASHP joined with 10 other pharmacy organizations from the "Alliance for Pharmaceutical Care" to exhibit at the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting, July 17-19 in Chicago, to educate over 5,000 state legislators and Medicaid officials on the need to authorize collaborative drug therapy management and reimburse for pharmacist patient-care services. 
  • ASHP Public Relations program will begin including health care payers as a key target audience. 
  • ASHP has published extensive information on billing and reimbursement in the Practice Management Module in the Ambulatory Care Clinical Skills Program series. 
  • ASHP is pursuing education, services, and products related to the legal and compliance aspects of billing for patient-care services. 
  • ASHP is partnering with ACCP to offer its compensation workshop at the 2000 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibits in Las Vegas.