American College of Clinical Pharmacy
      Search      Cart
ACCP Report

Washington Report

ACCP Urges Physicians Serving in Congress to Amend SSA to Cover Clinical Pharmacists’ Services

Written by John McGlew
Director of Government Affairs


A bipartisan group of members of Congress, led by leaders from the House Doctors Caucus, invited ACCP to provide feedback on actions that Congress could take to stabilize the Medicare payment system, without adding to the Medicare spending deficit, while ensuring the establishment of successful value-based care incentives. ACCP took this opportunity to urge Congress to amend the Social Security Act (SSA) to specifically authorize clinical pharmacists to serve as full members of Medicare patient care teams.

  • Click here to read ACCP’s comments to Congress urging coverage and payment for pharmacists’ clinical services.


In 2015, the bipartisan Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was signed into law. MACRA established a new system for paying Medicare providers under a Quality Payment Program, consisting of a new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and processes to adopt Advanced Alternative Payment Models. MACRA shifted Medicare’s approach to physician payment – paying providers on the basis of the quality, value, and results of care delivered rather than the number of services provided.

ACCP firmly believes that the MACRA payment environment should serve as a pathway for pharmacists to be integrated into value-based models in team-centered practices. For example, MACRA provides an economic rationale for practices to pay a salary for pharmacists to be part of their team to drive health outcomes and generate value-based revenue for the practice. In addition, pharmacists can be embedded in primary care practices through a co-funded partnership between the practice and a health system or pharmacy school. Organizations may also create a shared resource contractual agreement in which the pharmacist provides medication management services for multiple practices that share the overhead costs.

However, the Medicare payment policy currently limits full participation in value-based care teams to the eligible providers listed within Section 1861 of the SSA. ACCP recognizes that “provider status” alone does not ensure that pharmacists’ clinical services will be covered. But as it stands, the failure of CMS to include qualified clinical pharmacists as eligible providers is a barrier to integrating these proven patient care services.

ACCP is committed to a team-based approach to care that aligns perfectly with this vision for a value-based Medicare payment system. ACCP urges Congress to incorporate the direct patient care services of clinical pharmacists as members of the patient’s health care team. Specifically identifying the essential objectives for a modernized, cost-effective, and quality-focused Medicare program, ACCP is calling on Congress to enact Medicare reforms that would:

  • Facilitate clinical pharmacists’ full integration into patient care teams
  • Achieve clinical outcomes to meet quality metrics by recognizing clinical pharmacists’ contributions in quality performance measures
  • Develop health information technology resources to optimize the exchange of clinical information among members of the health care team, including clinical pharmacists

In its letter to Congress, ACCP specifically highlights this issue and directly calls on Congress to amend the SSA to allow the integration of clinical pharmacists into patient-centered care teams incentivized under the MACRA process.

  • Click here to read ACCP’s comments to Congress urging coverage and payment for pharmacists’ clinical services.

How to Get Involved

ACCP’s Political Action Committee (PAC) allows the College to participate in political campaign activities that strengthen its relationships with key policy-makers on Capitol Hill. Providing financial support to influential leaders helps raise the profile of clinical pharmacy and demonstrates ACCP’s ideological commitment to its core mission.

To maximize its impact, ACCP must be strategic in targeting the College’s limited resources on the health policy leaders best placed to advance its agenda. Here’s how ACCP’s leaders decide who should receive financial support.

Consistent with all of ACCP’s initiatives, ACCP-PAC is member driven and is managed by a Governing Council, which is responsible for decisions related to how PAC money is spent.

  • ACCP-PAC is nonpartisan – committed to working with health policy leaders across all political parties and ideologies.
  • ACCP-PAC supports candidates on the basis of their alignment with ACCP’s mission to advance the profession and improve human health through research, training, and education.
  • ACCP-PAC strategically targets members of Congress who sit on committees with jurisdiction over health care. In the Senate, ACCP-PAC primarily supports members on the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. In the House, ACCP-PAC focuses on those who sit on the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • ACCP-PAC is committed to transparency – all contributions are reported to the Federal Election Commission, and the information is available to the public.

PAC contributions are a constitutionally protected part of the U.S. political system under the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. ACCP-PAC is the only means by which the College can provide financial support for candidates for Congress. With its almost 18,000 members, ACCP is in a position to become one of the most prominent pharmacy PACs in Washington. To do this, the College needs the widespread support of its membership. If each ACCP member contributed just $25, ACCP-PAC would raise almost $450,000. All ACCP members should consider contributing at least $25 to ACCP-PAC. Click here to support your PAC today!