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Support for Provider Status Legislation Continues to Grow in Congress

Cheryl A. Thompson

Legislation initiated by ASHP and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)—H.R. 2799, the Medicare Pharmacist Services Coverage Act—is steadily gaining support in the House of Representatives.

Eight legislators recently agreed to cosponsor the bill. Sponsors play an important role in ensuring the success of legislation by locking in their vote and recruiting additional support from their colleagues. The new cosponsors are:

  • Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa)
  • Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
  • Rep. David Bonior (D-Mich.)
  • Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)
  • Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
  • Rep. David Price (D-N.C.)
  • Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)
  • Rep. Tom Sawyer (D-Ohio)

The bill, introduced in August by Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and Lynn Rivers (D-Mich.), will amend the Social Security Act to classify pharmacists as "health care providers." This classification will ensure that pharmacists are eligible to bill Medicare for providing high-level patient care services. A companion bill, S. 974, was introduced in the Senate this past May.