Representatives Kurt Schrader and Markwayne Mullin Introduce Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021
The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition Applauds This Crucial Step for Long-Term Care Pharmacies; Enabling Better Care for Vulnerable Populations
Washington, DC – Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05) and Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02) have introduced the bipartisan Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021, which will improve prescription access from long-term care (LTC) pharmacies for older adults and vulnerable Americans. Along with the legislative introduction, the co-leads issued a joint press release, which can be viewed here. This legislation is the House companion bill to the Senate version, introduced earlier this Congress by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA). The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) commends this step that allows LTC pharmacies to do what they do best: provide enhanced pharmacy and clinical services to 850,000 LTC residents every day.
“The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition applauds Representatives Kurt Schrader and Markwayne Mullin for the introduction of the bipartisan Long-Term Care Pharmacy Definition Act of 2021, which lays the groundwork to finally establish a clear federal statutory definition for long-term care (LTC) pharmacies,” said Alan Rosenbloom, SCPC President and CEO. “This is a crucial development that will modernize governmental oversight of the sector and ensure regulatory consistency across all federal agencies.”
LTC pharmacies play an essential role serving residents in LTC facilities across the country, but for far too long they have been forced to navigate a vague and inconsistent regulatory framework that has made it increasingly difficult to meet patient needs in the community. The bill will address this issue by providing for a statutory definition of LTC pharmacies that will be recognized under federal law.
Within the past month, the Biden Administration called on LTC pharmacies to lead the booster vaccination rollout among the vulnerable population they serve. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) denied LTC pharmacies fair and equitable assistance from its Provider Relief Fund, which was established by Congress through the 2020 CARES Act to fund provider losses. Since the pandemic, LTC pharmacies have witnessed a 11% revenue loss and 10% higher operating costs, but have mostly been denied financial assistance even though LTC facilities serving the same population have received $12 billion and are expected to receive more this year.
“This absence of a clear definition continues to plague LTC pharmacies, which have risen to the challenge and worked tirelessly to provide uninterrupted care and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Rosenbloom. “A typical nursing home resident takes 12-13 prescription medications, and the related patient care services LTC pharmacy provide are crucial to patient care. These services reduce adverse drug interactions, emergency room visits, and hospital readmissions that drive poorer outcomes and higher costs throughout the health care system. SCPC wholeheartedly supports this legislation, and we encourage Congress to move the bills through committees expeditiously.”
About Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition
The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) is the only national organization exclusively representing the interests of LTC pharmacies, representing 75% of the sector overall. Its members operate in all 50 states and serve 850,000 patients daily in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities across the country. Visit seniorcarepharmacies.org to learn more.
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