Pharmacists try to get health care provider status

Pharmacists try to get health care provider status

CREATED Jan 20, 2012

Reporter:  Kimberly Romo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -  A Tucson pharmacist is drawing national attention for her efforts to get pharmacists recognized as health care providers.  Under the social security act, pharmacists are not considered providers - a group that includes doctors, nurse practitioners, and social workers.  This means pharmacists are not paid for the clinical services they offer patients.  Instead, these services are supported through grants and donations.

Tucson pharmacist Sandra Leal created a petition on change.org to try and get pharmacists recognized as health care providers.  A move, she says, that will ultimately benefit patients, "We're really trying to show the evidence of our outcomes by showing decreased costs.  Ultimately, in my case, we want to prevent dialysis, we want to prevent amputations in people who have diabetes.  We want to prevent side effects and admissions to the hospital caused by medication so by doing that, we're really justifying what we're doing and we're showing the outcome of the impact, and ultimately, the improved safety in patients that we see."

The idea has received the support of some national pharmacist organizations, and even the Surgeon General.  So far, the online petition has more than 15,000 signatures.

You can find a link to it by clicking here.

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