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


NGA (national governor's association) states the critical role that medication management plays in treating chronic diseases suggests that the integration of pharmacists into chronic-care delivery teams has the potential to improve health outcomes. Studies of pharmacists providing medication therapy management (MTM) services to improve therapeutic outcomes indicate that such services can improve outcomes and reduce costs. Pharmacists typically provide those services in interdisciplinary teams through collaborative practice agreements (CPAs). Such agreements with other health care providers allow a licensed provider to refer patients to a pharmacist and delegate the delivery of clinical services under supervision. Several key challenges and barriers, however, prevent the full integration of pharmacists into health care delivery teams: restrictive laws and regulations governing CPAs, 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.
The health care system is undergoing a significant transformation in both the finance and delivery of health care services. States, in particular, are examining their health care systems to define policies that create efficient models of care focused on improved quality and health outcomes as well as reduced costs. Integrating pharmacists, who represent the third-largest health profession, into such systems is important for achieving intended goals. Pharmacists have the professional expertise to address key challenges facing the health care system, including the prevalence of people who have multiple chronic conditions and the increased use of more complex medications to manage those diseases. Read more at www.nga.org

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