Governors support provider status for pharmacists

January 16, 2015

A group representing the nation’s governors has endorsed provider status for pharmacists as a way to improve medical outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

A group representing the nation’s governors has endorsed provider status for pharmacists as a way to improve medical outcomes and lower healthcare costs.

The National Governors Association (NGA) recently released "The Expanding Role of Pharmacists in a Transformed Health Care System," a report that details some of the challenges that prevent pharmacists from being fully integrated into the healthcare delivery system. The report said those challenges include "lack of provider recognition in federal and state law governing compensation of pharmacists who provide direct patient-care services, and limitations on pharmacists' ability to access health information systems."

VIDEO: Fighting for provider status

"As the healthcare system undergoes a major transformation in both finance and the delivery of services, states are focusing on improved quality and health outcomes," said NGA Executive Director Dan Crippen. "Integrating pharmacists, who represent the third-largest health profession, into the healthcare delivery system is one way to meet those goals."

The NGA report refers to several studies indicating that pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services can improve medical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.

The CEO of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Paul W. Abramowitz, said the endorsement from the governors would help efforts to pass federal provider-status legislation. “The NGA report is an important recognition that pharmacists are vital members of the patient care team,” said Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD (Hon), FASHP.