“The pandemic has confirmed the importance of ensuring continued access to local pharmacists and we have long supported improving patient access to pharmacy services. This includes changing Medicare policy so that pharmacists can receive reimbursement for supplemental health care services authorized by state law. We appreciate your attention to this matter as we seek to ensure that pharmacists can continue to provide important medical services that keep their communities healthy,” wrote the senators.
The federal government’s COVID-19 response has enabled pharmacists to serve the Medicare population through testing, vaccine administration, and other services authorized under the PHE declaration. For example, through the Federal Pharmacy Retail Program, pharmacists opened more than 10,000 free testing sites and administered nearly 230 million doses of vaccines. As noted in the letter, research suggests that many independent pharmacies are reaching our most vulnerable and underserved communities.