Grassley Pushing To Include Pharmacists In Accountable Care Organizations

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said Tuesday they will look for opportunities to advance their proposal to include pharmacists in Medicare’s program encouraging providers to give coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients.

Grassley and Carper filed but did not offer an amendment to the physician payments bill considered in the Finance Committee last week that would include pharmacists in Medicare programs encouraging Accountable Care Organizations.

These are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who come together voluntarily to give coordinated, high quality care to their Medicare patients.

The coordinated care is meant to achieve the right care, especially for chronically ill patients, while avoiding wasteful duplication and preventing medical errors.

The organizations share in the savings they achieve for the Medicare program when they succeed in delivering high-quality care while avoiding wasteful duplication and spending.

Medicare currently does not promote pharmacists’ participation in Accountable Care Organizations, even though pharmacists play a significant role in overseeing patients’ prescription adherence.

Grassley and Carper said they will look for legislative opportunities to advance this proposal in the coming months. Grassley also co-sponsored an amendment offered by Carper encouraging the development of quality metrics related to medication adherence. The Carper-Grassley amendment was offered and withdrawn.