Reps. Guthrie, Butterfield and Young introduce bipartisan bill to increase access to medical care

Mar 11, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC -- In a bipartisan effort, Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Todd Young (R-IN) today introduced legislation (H.R. 4190) that will allow Medicare reimbursement for certain pharmacist services in medically underserved communities. 

Many states allow pharmacists to provide additional services, such as immunizations, diabetes management, blood pressure screenings and routine checks.  However, there is currently no mechanism for pharmacists to be reimbursed by the Medicare program.  This common-sense bill creates a means for pharmacists to be reimbursed for these services they are already allowed to perform, when performed in medically underserved areas.

“Many rural communities, like those spread across southern Indiana, struggle with inadequate access to doctors and other health care providers,” said Congressman Young. “This legislation would begin to fill that void in those areas designated as ‘medically underserved’ by allowing pharmacists to offer clinical services within their current scope of practice to Medicare patients.”

“I routinely hear from Kentuckians who rely on their pharmacists as their initial access point to health care,” said Guthrie.  Whether it’s to inquire about medication, potential side effects, or discussing other ailments and complications, many patients view their pharmacist as a critical member of their health care team.  This legislation will increase patient access to basic services in a cost-effective and responsible way.”

“This simple bill would benefit millions of seniors across the country and particularly those that live in rural and underserved areas,” said Butterfield.  “Expanding patient access to primary care through trained, qualified, and licensed pharmacists, while also addressing the shortage in the delivery of care is basic supply and demand.  I thank my colleagues Representatives Guthrie and Young for partnering with me to introdce this much-needed bill.”