MCW School of Pharmacy Students Advocate for Provider Status at PSW Legislative Day
For the fourth year, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) School of Pharmacy students, faculty, and staff gathered together with other pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state at the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin (PSW) Legislative Day in Madison to advocate for important legislative issues related to the pharmacy profession.
The main area of focus this year was raising awareness of Pharmacy Provider Status, which would grant pharmacists the ability to be reimbursed for patient care services that are delegated to them by a physician, such as vaccine administration, tobacco cessation counseling, or medication therapy management. Currently, two-thirds of Wisconsin counties have areas that are considered to be medically underserved. Pharmacists serving as patient care providers can help increase access to healthcare services.
“Having a lack of payment that other healthcare professionals would have received is a barrier to pharmacists integrating with the healthcare team,” says Adam Gregg, PharmD, BCPS, Program Manager of Pharmacy Continuing Professional Development at Gundersen Health System, who spoke about how provider status could help shape the future of pharmacy. “Provider status acknowledges the care that we provide as an individual, not just the product,” he says. Students gathered in groups to discuss how to successfully share the message about provider status and what tools could help them.
P3 student Mandy Walters was presented with the PSW Student Good Government Award for the MCW School of Pharmacy, which acknowledges a pharmacy student from each school of pharmacy in Wisconsin that has had significant involvement in pursuing grassroots advocacy and policy changes at their respective institution. In advance of the Legislative Day, Walters helped organize preparatory sessions for first-year students. One session covered persuasive speaking and advocacy, allowing students to speak to mock legislators. Another session brought Representative Robyn Vining to the MCW Milwaukee campus to talk about how students can get involved with pharmacy bills and make a difference.
The MCW School of Pharmacy students from all 3 classes met with Wisconsin State Senate and Assembly representatives and their staff at the Capitol to discuss Pharmacy Provider Status and other issues, including the ability for pharmacists to independently prescribe oral contraceptives, pharmacy benefit manager reform, technician registration, and drug importation.
The MCW School of Pharmacy is preparing its pharmacy students to be healthcare providers of the future by providing them the knowledge, abilities, and skills necessary for the expanded role of the pharmacist. In Patient Care Lab, students learn how to provide primary care services such as point-of-care testing, blood pressure screenings, and diabetic foot exams. While on their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) rotations, MCW School of Pharmacy students provide these services for patients under the guidance of a preceptor. After graduation, MCW School of Pharmacy students will move into a variety of different fields of pharmacy where they will provide patient care as part of the healthcare team, practicing at the top of their education and pharmacist license.