Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act of 2015:
HCC is committed to helping get The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 592/S. 314) passed. The bill would amend title XVII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to cover Pharmacist services. This would allow Pharmacists to help fill some gaps in the health care system in providing much needed patient care services to Florida’s neediest and underserved communities. To make this happen we all need to show our support!
I would like to share parts of a recent email that was received from Scott Tomerlin, the President-elect for the Florida Pharmacy Association. In it Scott shares several statistics that you may find to be helpful:
– 30 out of 67 Florida counties include areas designated as “medically underserved”
– Florida will be short 7,000 doctors by 2025, with 253 active physicians per 100,000 residents as of 2012 according to the Association of American Medical Collages.
– Southwest Florida is of 3 regions in the state where medical demand is expected to exceed supply by the highest amounts 10 years from now.
– For every $1 that is invested in Pharmacists provided services, a return on investment of $4 is realized in health care savings.
– In Florida alone, there are over 19,900 Pharmacists ready to help.
As Scott points out, while we can all agree that supply and demand changes for Pharmacists and the job market has shifted dramatically, this bill has the potential to be a viable step to help create more demand for Pharmacist provided services. We know the positive impact of Pharmacists provided services in the health care setting, and certainly those patients that receive these services do, but do our Legislators? How will they ever know if we sit silently on the sideline and wait for others to dictate the direction of our profession?
A Special Thanks to those Legislators in our state that have already co-sponsored this legislation, as well as those constituents in their district whom have reached out to those members. Currently, there are 161 Cosponsors (8 in Florida) in the U.S. House of Representatives and 22 Cosponsors (0 in Florida) in the U.S. Senate.
Current H.R. 592 Co-Sponsors (Florida) as of July 15, 2015 (and date of co-sponsorship)
Rep. Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-20]
Rep. Jolly, David W. [R-FL-13]
Rep. Ross, Dennis A. [R-FL-15]
Rep. Murphy, Patrick [D-FL-18]
Rep. Bilirakis, Gus M. [R-FL-12]
Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26]
Rep. DeSantis, Ron [R-FL-6]
Rep. Nugent, Richard B. [R-FL-11]
Current S. 314 Co-Sponsors (Florida)
If you do NOT see your representative on this list, we urge you to contact them today!
How do you contact them?
Use the FPA direct link to CAPWIZ – This will allow you to send an email to your local Congressman to urge them to co-sponsor the bill: http://www.capwiz.com/pharmview/state/main/?state=FL
Now is the time that we act, not react, to what is happening around us in the Practice of Pharmacy and Health Care in general. I ask with the strongest urgency that you reach out TODAY to your local legislator to co-sponsor H.R. 592/S. 314 “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act of 2015”.
Please keep in mind – the legislators that you have voted in office are there to represent you and your interests – your beliefs, morals and ideals just to name a few. I would hope you would consider YOUR Profession of Pharmacy that you practice to be of utmost concern as you are interacting with your legislator. (and eventually voting for in the polls!).