As APhA gathered in Washington for its annual meeting, members met with legislators on Capitol Hill in a final push for inclusion of medication therapy management (MTM) in health care reform (HCR) legislation. House and Senate leaders are consulting with the White House on how to proceed with the bills passed last year in each chamber.
According to reports in the media, the most likely path is for the House of Representatives to take up the bill passed on Christmas Eve by the Senate. The White House has delayed an international trip to Indonesia and Australia to increase pressure on Congress to move swiftly.
If the Senate bill clears the House unchanged, it would go directly to President Obama for his signature. Once HCR becomes law, the Senate could consider certain “corrections” agreed to beforehand with House leaders. Those provisions would be considered under the chamber’s reconciliation rules and would therefore require only a 51-vote majority.
Since the corrections being discussed publicly concern big-picture issues such as insurance reform, financing of HCR, and abortion, pharmacist-provided MTM services and other favorable pharmacy provisions appear safe for now. APhA continues to monitor the situation and communicate the Association’s core messages regarding MTM and HCR, just in case.