Pharmacist urges Congress to expand MTM coverage

October 23, 2015

A Rite Aid pharmacist last week urged a congressional committee to make more people eligible for medication therapy management (MTM) programs through Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

A Rite Aid pharmacist last week urged a congressional committee to make more people eligible for medication therapy management (MTM) programs through Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

Jesse McCullough, Rite Aid’s director of field clinical services, testified during the hearing “Examining Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management Program” before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

McCullough urged committee members to expand access to MTM programs for patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. (Click here to read his full testimony).

 “Access to these types of services is especially vital for Medicare beneficiaries as nearly two-thirds are suffering from multiple chronic conditions. Through personal interactions with patients, face-to-face consultations, and convenient access to preventive care services, local pharmacists are helping to shape the healthcare delivery system of tomorrow, in partnership with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers,” McCullough testified.

“Retail pharmacies and pharmacists stand ready to fill those gaps with high-quality, cost-efficient care and services to help ensure access for Medicare beneficiaries is not compromised,” he said. “However, lack of pharmacist recognition as a provider by third-party payors, including Medicare and Medicaid, has limited the number and types of services pharmacists can provide, even though fully qualified to do so.”

McCullough told committee members that expanding MTM coverage would help improve medication adherence, which in turn would lower overall healthcare expenditures by the government.

Jesse McCullough, Rite Aid’s director of filed clinical services, testifies about the role community pharmacists can take in the expansion of medication therapy management programs for Medicare Part D during a hearing last week before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. (Image courtesy of NACDS)

 

Both the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) submitted statements to the committee supporting expansion of MTM coverage.

 “NCPA believes that prevention is the best medicine, and whether it’s catching a medication error before it leads to a hospitalization or effective chronic disease management, MTM services present an opportunity to improve patient care while providing greater efficiencies within the healthcare system,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey.

In its statement, NACDS said: “Reforming the Medicare Part D program should be accomplished through efficiently targeting beneficiaries who can most benefit from the services that will improve medication adherence and overall program effectiveness.”