The expanding role of the pharmacist under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) represents one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the history of United States healthcare. The PPACA has two main goals: to increase the insured patient population in the US and to reduce the overall cost while improving the quality of healthcare in the US. To accomplish the latter goal, healthcare providers are experiencing a movement toward integrated, team-oriented models that place increasing accountability on the providers and institutions. At the same time, these integrative models emphasize effective preventive care, which is critical in reducing the country’s overall healthcare costs. As more health care institutions and providers across the country adopt the healthcare reform models of the Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) directly under the PPACA, the demand for pharmacists is increasing. In addition, the role of the pharmacist through Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is growing as more public and private sectors adopt MTM and its standards are being used as the medication-related cornerstone for the ACOs. There is a call for lower costs and higher quality outcomes in healthcare, and the pharmacists are increasingly integrated into direct patient care and medication management. The newly integrated responsibilities of the pharmacist are numerous and almost limitless. The roleof pharmacists is expanding, and as many studies suggest, their contributions produce auspicious results.