Senator Grassley Reintroduces Legislation to Expand Healthcare Services to Older Americans in Underserved Areas
IPA applauds the introduction of the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, legislation that would give tens of millions of Medicare patients in medically underserved communities, including Iowa's rural communities, access to critically needed patient care services delivered by pharmacists.
Alongside national pharmacy organizations, the Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) applauds the introduction of legislation that would give tens of millions of Medicare patients in medically underserved communities, including Iowa's rural communities, access to critically needed patient care services delivered by pharmacists.
The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act was introduced Tuesday by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM). The bill would enable pharmacists to deliver Medicare Part B services that are already authorized by Iowa state law. These services may include:
- Medication management
- Management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, and related medications
- Cholesterol testing
- Point-of-care testing (e.g., COVID-19, influenza, strep)
- Immunization screening and administration not currently covered by Medicare Parts B and D
- Tobacco cessation services
- Transition of care services
In a recent press release, Sen. Grassley stated, “The health and wellness of older Americans ought to be prioritized, regardless of zip code. For many seniors in rural areas, especially in Iowa, it's simply easier to get to a pharmacist than a doctor. Licensed pharmacists should be compensated by Medicare to perform basic medical services so seniors can be saved taxing trips to far-flung doctors' offices.”
“Pharmacists play an essential role in ensuring convenient access to health care services for Iowa communities. Recognizing pharmacists as providers under Medicare ensures patient care is available close to home by trusted members of the healthcare team,” said Iowa Pharmacy Association (IPA) CEO Kate Gainer.