Petition Update

CMS references pharmacists in recent actions

Sandra Leal, PharmD, MPH, FAPhA, CDE
Tucson, AZ

May 15, 2012 — Expansion of medical staff concept for nonphysicians, funding for Pittsburgh care transition project among several actions taken by agency.

The most underused health professional in the United States is clearly on the minds of people working at CMS.

In four recent actions, pharmacists figured in actions taken by or communications from the federal agency that manages the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In a final rule, CMS broadened the concept of hospital medical staff (which may already include “other practitioners”) to now include eligible nonphysician practitioners, which could include pharmacists.

In a second action, the first set of CMS Innovation Awards included a transitions of care project in which pharmacists are among the health professionals caring for patients.

In two other actions, CMS called on pharmacists to sign up individually for the Million Hearts initiative and ordered Part D plans to stop diverting