The APhA’s Position on the Affordable Care Act

The Obama Administration reports that more than 8 million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act this past spring, exceeding by 1 million the number of people the administration had targeted.


In addition, according to an April 17 article in The New York Times, administration officials reported that “129 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions, including 17 million children, were no longer in danger of losing health coverage or having premiums rise drastically.”


The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) supports the overall goals of the Affordable Care Act (improving the quality of patient care as well as the outcomes of that care).


In a statement at the association’s website, the APhA states that it didn’t take a position on the ACA when Congress was considering the legislation prior to its passage in March 2010 because there were several “elements” of the ACA (such as the employer mandate, health insurance exchanges and how to fund the increased access to healthcare) for which the association “did not have a consensus.” The association says it instead “focused its advocacy efforts” on elements of the act that were “directly relevant” to pharmacy practice and patients.


It did so by working with the Health Care Reform Pharmacy Stakeholders group and created what it calls a “consensus document,” the Pharmacy Principles for Health Care Reform. The paper offers up what the stakeholders group believed to be “key pharmacy provisions for inclusion in the law.”


Since the passage of ACA, the APhA has worked diligently to ensure that pharmacist-provided patient care services are included in the ACA’s provisions.


In regards to other provisions and elements of the ACA, the APhA recommends pharmacists do the following:


  • That pharmacists “take a leadership role” and work with other healthcare professionals to improve the medication reconciliation process during care transitions via medication therapy management (MTM).
  • That pharmacists participate with organizations that are creating Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), helping to show how the ACOs can save money.
  • That pharmacists continue to advocate that pharmacist-provided patient care be included all Integrated Care Models as well as Transitional Care Models.

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