Catania Bill Expands Access to Health Care, Addresses Gaps in District Health Care Delivery System

Catania Bill Expands Access to Health Care, Addresses Gaps in District Health Care Delivery System
Collaborative Practice Agreements Improve Chronic Disease Monitoring.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Councilmember David A. Catania (At-Large) introduced the “Collaborative Care Expansion Act of 2012.” The Act will permit pharmacists to enter into collaborative practice agreements (CPAs) with physicians to monitor and initiate drug therapy treatment for patients with chronic diseases. CPAs increase access to safe, quality health care services at community pharmacies and in so doing greatly improve health outcomes and allow medical services to reach communities where doctors are in short supply.

“Many District residents must travel long distances and wait weeks—sometimes months—to see their doctor for chronic disease monitoring,” said Councilmember Catania. “The limited supply of doctors thwarts access to care for too many residents. The legislation I introduced today will help fill this gap in our health care delivery system and help improve health outcomes by empowering our pharmacists to work with physicians to monitor treatment under policies jointly developed by the Boards of Pharmacy and Medicine.”

In the District, 37% of residents suffer from chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or hypertension, with the highest incidences in Wards 7 and 8. Collaborative practice agreements are written agreements between physicians and pharmacists that permit pharmacists to monitor drug therapy treatment under the guidance of licensed physicians. Forty-two states already allow pharmacists and physicians to enter such agreements. The collaborative practice agreement allows a patient to see a pharmacist for the administration of medications, monitoring of drug interactions, counseling, and education after a referral from the patient’s treating physician.

Studies have shown that pharmacist provided care under CPAs results in better outcomes for patients with cost savings. A Tucson, Arizona study on the effectiveness of collaborative practice agreements for diabetic patients showed that pharmacist provided care under the agreement resulted in substantially lower blood sugar levels for patients, and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for patients, providers, and local jurisdictions. The District currently lags far behind the majority of states by only permitting written protocols between pharmacists and physicians to administer vaccinations like the flu shot.

Kevin Wrege, Esq.

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

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