Members of AAPP’s Board, Government Affairs Committee, and other Committees participated in 20 virtual Congressional visits over the last two weeks along with our government affairs consultant at Venable. We greatly appreciate their participation in educating Congressional offices on the role of psychiatric pharmacists in providing patient care services and discussing policy options to remove barriers for patients in accessing their services. The visits specifically focused on the following requests:

  • Make psychiatric pharmacists Qualified Health Providers under Medicare so that hospitals and clinics can be reimbursed for the patient care services they provide as part of the health care team.
  • Ensure Medicare covers and pays for comprehensive medication management (CMM) services.
  • Include psychiatric pharmacists in the list of mental health and substance use disorder providers for HRSA training and loan repayment programs.
  • Direct SAMHSA to include a national pharmacy organization in the list of training providers for the 8-hour training requirement for prescribers of controlled substances with DEA licenses.
  • Expand access to methadone by supporting the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act (H.R. 1359/S.644) to decriminalize addiction physicians/psychiatrist prescribing of methadone for OUD.

The visits were with House and Senate offices on Committees with jurisdiction over Medicare, mental health and substance use or led a caucus focused on mental health and/or SUDs. Staff were receptive to learning about psychiatric pharmacists and the need to remove payment and other barriers to enable greater access to their services and as a solution to the dearth of mental health and SUD providers.

The visits with House members coincided with a hearing in the House Energy and Commerce Committee to reauthorize the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act). AAPP has been working in collaboration with American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and others to advocate for an expansion in patient access to methadone which both the House and Senate are seeking to move legislation on this year but primarily next year.

AAPP once again thanks our members who participated in the visits that are critical to raising awareness about the profession with Congressional staff.

  • Ilona Shishko Almeida, PharmD, BCPP
  • Angela Babin, MBA, RPh
  • Carla Cobb, PharmD, BCPP
  • Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP
  • Jennifer Dress, PharmD, BCPP
  • Megan Ehret, PharmD, BCPP, MS
  • Tanya Fabian, PharmD, PhD, BCPP
  • Michelle Geier, PharmD, BCPP
  • Robert Haight, PharmD, BCPP
  • Suzanne Harris, PharmD, BCPP
  • Kelly Lee, PharmD, BCPP, FCCP
  • Cristofer Price, PharmD, BCPP
  • Kristina Reinstatler, PharmD, BCPP, MBA
  • Richard Silvia, PharmD, BCPP
  • Amy VandenBerg, PharmD, BCPP
  • Kristen Ward, PharmD
  • Amy Werremeyer, PharmD, BCPP
  • Andrew Williams, PharmD, BCPP