In mid-March, when Xavier Becerra was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) issued a congratulatory statement, noting Becerra's history of standing up for independent pharmacies while serving as attorney general of California. "We are grateful for this support and are eager to work with him and others in the Biden administration," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey said.
Three months later, in late-June, Hoey, was among a group of pharmacy industry representatives who met with Secretary Becerra to share thoughts about the current landscape, and deliver a list of four specific federal priorities. According to NCPA, that list includes:
Apparently not included on the list delivered to Secretary Becerra was the critical issue of federal provider status recognition, which allow pharmacists to be reimbursed by Medicare Part B for patient services. Federal provider status is the pharmacy industry's top legislative priority, with bills introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, H.R. 2759/S.1362.
Pharmacists clearly have a full plate in seeking to address issues that affect their ability to serve patients, receive payment for those services, and stop the arbitrary claw back of exorbitant amounts of fees.
Pharmacists can be assured these messages were delivered. Whether or not Secretary Becerra will be responsive to this list of concerns though, remains to be seen.