The 2017 Long Session in the NC General Assembly has been extremely busy. NCAP, with the help of our Lobbyist, Tony Adams, has been actively supporting and monitoring a number of bills this session. Click here to see a 2017 Legislative Report summarizing important pharmacy or healthcare related bills. You will find information on the recently passed and signed into law STOP Act, regarding opioids, as well as an update on the outcome of the Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act. In addition you will find brief summaries of bills, relative to LTC pharmacy, on Personal Care Services funds for patients in Assisted Living.Mr. Adams also has included an update on what happened with bills that were seeking to expand scope of practice for Nurse Practitioners and Optometrists.
H.466/S.384 Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act. These are the bills addressing consumer and pharmacy protections as part of PBM regulation. The bills were passed in both the House and Senate late last week. Each has been sent to the other chamber for concurrence.
S. 104/ H. 708 Require Criminal Background Check/Pharmacist Licensure passed in the Senate and was sent over to the House where H. 708 was read in and referred to the House Rules Committee.
Collaborative Practice Authority Expansion--we were unable to make the filing deadline to introduce our bill into the House this session. The deadline was April 25th. However, we have made great strides in gaining support. Tony Adams, NCAP Lobbyist, was able to get the very influential Reps. Josh Dobson, Donny Lambeth, Chris Malone and Jonathan Jordan to agree to be primary sponsors. NCAP plans to launch a grassroots educational and advocacy initiative around this bill beginning summer 2017 with plans to file in the next legislative session. Stay tuned for how you can help garner more support for helping advance collaborative care in North Carolina.
Expansion of Collaborative Practice Authority
The Legislators have been on a short break and are returning to session tomorrow. As most of you know NCAP has been working towards getting a bill introduced to help expand our collaborative practice authority. We are seeking to bring about changes that would make it easier for physicians and pharmacists to work together under collaborative practice agreements. These changes would broaden the use of clinical pharmacist practitioners in health systems as well as help expand collaborative care into the community setting, where to date very few clinical pharmacist practitioners work despite our current statute dating back to 1999.
Currently, NCAP lobbyist Tony Adams is working very hard to garner sponsorship to introduce our bill. Rep. Greg Murphy in the NC House is the only physician in the legislature and unfortunately he remains opposed. We are calling on pharmacists and physicians who currently work via collaborative agreement to call or write Rep. Murphy to share your experiences and to convey why the expansion of collaborative practice is important to patient care.
The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act (H 243/S175)
H.243 passed the House in unanimous vote last week and has been referred to the Senate where it has been assigned to the Rules Committee. NCAP is in support of this bill and requests that members reach out to their legislators in the NC Senate to ask for their support of S.175. Visit the Government Affairs tab on the NCAP website for more information about this bill.
The Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act (H466 / S384)
Both the House and Senate versions are to be reviewed in Committee this week. These bills address PBM regulations and contain much needed consumer protections as well as pharmacist/pharmacy protections from unfair business practices that are harming both community and long term care patients and pharmacies. The bills have opposition from pharmacy benefit management companies and the large lobbying firm McGuireWoods is actively working against these bills. Now is the time for pharmacists to speak out by contacting their NC representative and senator to garner support for H.466 and S.384, respectively.
Require Criminal Background Check / Pharmacist Licensure (S104)
This bill has passed the Senate Health Care Committee and has been re-referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it successfully gets through this Committee, the bill will be sent on to the Rules Committee. NCAP is in support of this bill.
North Carolina Legislative Issues
On March 22nd, NCAP in collaboration with ACP and NCRMA had sponsored a very successful Pharmacy Legislative Day. For pharmacists who were not able to attend this event, this email provides an update on important state legislative initiatives impacting pharmacy. NCAP is in support of the following bills. We ask that all North Carolina pharmacists familiarize themselves with these bills and contact their legislators to encourage their support.
H. 243 / S. 175 Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act
H. 243 was introduced in the NC House on 3/2/2017. The Bill sponsors are Reps. Murphy, Davis, Malone and Horn and there are currently 71 co-sponsors. The Senate version of this Bill was introduced by Senators Davis, McInnis and Rabon, and it currently has 15 co-sponsors.
The bill includes provisions regarding:
- Opioid antagonists
- Improved opioid prescribing
- Targets CII and CIII substances
- E-prescribing mandate
- Acute pain 5-day supply limit
- Post-op 7-day supply limit
- Disposal information for hospice and palliative care
- CSRS enhancements, funding
- CSRS dispenser reporting requirements & civil penalties for violations
H. 466 / S. 384 The Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act
These bills were introduced in the NC House (Rep. Jones) and Senate (Sen. Britt, Rabon & Meredith) on March 23, 2017 to address the regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers doing business in North Carolina to provide consumer (patient), pharmacy and pharmacists protections from unfair business practices. The bills specifically address copays for patients and the allowance for pharmacists to provide information for lower cost alternatives. In addition the bill, as written, prevents the assessment of retroactive “clawback” fees and penalties. Click here to read this bill.
S. 104 Require Criminal Background Check / Pharmacist
This bill was introduced in the NC Senate on 2/16/2017 by Senator Tillman. The bill requires a criminal background check be included in the application process for licensure to practice pharmacy in North Carolina. Click here to read this bill.
Expansion of Collaborative Practice Authority in North Carolina
In addition to the above bills, NCAP has also been working on a bill, which would broaden our current collaborative practice authority (CPA). CPA in NC dates back to 1999 when we were pioneers in collaborative care between physicians and pharmacists. We currently have a document in the bill drafting office and we are working closely with our stakeholders.
In general, if successful in getting the bill introduced this session, NCAP will be calling on pharmacists and physicians to advocate for changes that would improve patient care and access to collaborative care by making it easier for physicians and pharmacists to set up a collaborative practice agreements. Stay tuned to NCAP. We will keep you posted on progress.
FEBRUARY 23, 2017
Update on the Federal Legislation Introduced to Help With Provider Status Designation for Pharmacists.
H.R. 592 Pharmacy & Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act
Sponsor: Guthrie (R-KY)
Since our first posting we have picked up a few more NC Representatives as co-sponsors. Currently we have 7 of 13: Butterfield (D-NC-1), Jones (R-NC-3), Pittenger (R-NC-9), Price (D-NC-4), Hudson (R-NC-8), Rouzer (R-NC-7) and Walker (R-NC-6). If you live in any of these Representatives' districts please contact them to thank them for their support. If you live or work in the following districts please encourage your Representative to sign on as a cosponsor: 2 (Holding), 5 (Foxx), 10 (McHenry), 11 (Meadows), 12 (Adams) or 13 (Budd).
S. 109 Pharmacy & Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act
Sponsor: Grassley (R-IA)
January 25, 2017
Provider Status Legislation Re-Introduced in the Senate as a New Bill (S. 109)
Last week, Senators Grassley (R-IA), Collins (R-ME), Brown (D-OH) and Cassey (D-PA), introduced S. 109 in the 115th Congress (2017-2018). The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S.109) calls for better access to health care for Medicare patients in medically underserved areas through the use of pharmacist-provided preventative care and chronic disease management.
North Carolina pharmacists are encouraged to reach out to Senators Burr and Tillis to ask for their support and encourage them to sign on in support of S. 109.
On the heels of the introduction to S. 109, this Wednesday CMS called for the States to expand the pharmacist's scope of practice to promote patient access to medically necessary and time-sensitive medication through prescribing, modifying or monitoring of drug therapy. This increased attention focused on our profession is very exciting and hopefully indicative of 2017's potential to be a historically impactful year for pharmacy. Now is the time to come together and we need all of the profession working collectively to garner support.
NCAP will keep you posted on the progress of S. 109 as well as when a companion bill gets introduced in the House.
The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, like its Senate companion (S. 109), will allow pharmacists to be designated as health care providers under Medicare Part B.
The bill already has 107 cosponsors including North Carolina Representatives: G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1), W. Jones (R-NC-3), R. Pittenger (R-NC-9), D. Price (D-NC-4) and R. Hudson (R-NC-8). If you live or work in the districts of these co-sponsors, please write to thank them for signing onto H.R. 592. If your representative has not signed on yet, please contact him/her to ask for their support.
Take Your Legislator to Work
Developed by Tim Randolph, PharmD; Sara Dawson, PharmD; and Emily Heil, PharmD
Legislators often make decisions that affect pharmacy, but they may not know much about our profession. One way to help them understand what we do is to invite them to your work site. The New Practitioner Network has developed tools to help you do this. These sample invitations and media advisories will assist you in educating your Legislators and your community about the services and benefits pharmacy provides.
For Community Pharmacy
For Hospital Pharmacy
Presented by Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company and NCAP through Pharmacy Marketing Group, Inc., a company dedicated to providing quality products and services to the pharmacy community.