ASCP Legislative Agenda

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What is a Consultant Pharmacist?

A “consultant” or “senior care” pharmacist is a medication therapy management expert who provides advice on the use of medications by older adults, whether they live in the community or in long-term care facilities.

ASCP Policy Statements

Articles

Provider Status for Pharmacists

ASCP supports H.R. 4190 to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to cover pharmacist services under the Medicare program.

ASCP recommends that pharmacists have appropriate qualifications to care for patients with complex medication related needs. ASCP encourages payer systems to recognize and compensate pharmacists for services rendered as a health care provider. ASCP supports cooperation between pharmacists and payers in developing payment systems to facilitate pharmacist compensation for delivering comprehensive medication management services.

Expanding the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Benefit

ASCP Supports H.R.1024 and S. 557, The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013.
ASCP supports improvement of the Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management benefit by extending these services to beneficiaries with a single chronic disease.  ASCP supports efforts to increase access to pharmacist-provided clinical services for seniors and ensure the appropriate and safe use of medications for the elderly.

Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products

ASCP opposes H.R. 1285 and S. 621, The Safe Prescribing Act of 2013.
Rescheduling hydrocodone combination products from Schedule III to Schedule II will make timely pain treatment for long-term care (LTC) residents more difficult by exacerbating existing barriers to pain medication access.

Eliminating Barriers to Controlled Medication Access

ASCP supports amending the Controlled Substances Act to ensure that nurses working in long-term care (LTC) facilities and in hospice programs are recognized as agents of physicians who prescribe controlled medications to patients in these settings. We support including a provision that would allow pharmacists to dispense controlled medication prescriptions to LTC and hospice patients based upon chart orders.

Recognizing Professional Services for LTC Pharmacy Dispensing Fees

ASCP supports S. 1493, the Medicare Efficient Drug Dispensing Act of 2013.
This proposed legislation clarifies that professional fees paid to LTC pharmacies should continue to be a fixed amount, separate from the number of days supplied, to adequately recognize the fixed cost for professional services required of LTC pharmacies when dispensing to and caring for skilled nursing facility residents.

Other Legislation

H.R. 4069, Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2013

This proposed legislation is designed to help further combat prescription drug abuse and diversion in the US, while being cognizant of patient access to medication. The bill achieves this by revising Controlled Substance Act (CSA) registrant requirements for distributors of controlled substances to mandate background checks and drug screenings at the time of hire. Additional drug screenings for employees with access to controlled substances would be required at a frequency of no more than every two years. Retail pharmacies are exempt from this provision (LTC pharmacies are registered as retail pharmacies in most states and under DEA regulations). Additionally, the bill would set-up a "Combating Prescription Drug Abuse Working Group." This work group would have representatives from government agencies and other stakeholders, including pharmacy organizations, patient advocacy groups and drug manufacturers and distributors. The group would have the responsibility of examining federal programs aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and determine their efficacy. Additionally, the group would be responsible in examining the effects of moving prescription medications from schedule III to schedule II of the CSA. Based on their findings, the group would make recommendations to Congress.

H.R. 3303, Sensible Oversight for Technology which Advances Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013

This legislation would amend the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have regulatory oversight over medical software. This bill also stipulates that the FDA would not have oversight over clinical and health software, however. Included in the text are definitions of all three types of software. The basic difference between medical and clinical/health software (according to this legislation's definition) is that medical software works to directly change the structure or function of "the body of man or other animals," whereas health/clinical software "captures, analyzes, changes, or presents patient or population clinical data or information or supports administrative or operational aspects of health care and is not used in the direct delivery of care."

H.R. 4302, Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (Now Public Law 113-93)

This legislation serves as the temporary patch to prevent the 24% cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates to physicians, known as the “Doc Fix.” The law also contains a provision which would set-up an incentive program for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF's) to encourage a reduction in hospital readmissions. While this law would cut reimbursements to SNF's by 2% across the board, based on their performance as it relates to readmissions, these facilities would have the ability to receive some of the money back in incentive payments.

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