The Advocacy Center is a collection of summaries of current legislative and regulatory issues ASCP is working on, as well as legislative and regulatory priorities, and policy information. Each issue contains an overview, key milestones, and links to relevant resources. You will also find a complete collection of the Society’s policy statements at the archives link at the bottom of the page. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provider Status: A coalition of Pharmacy groups, including ASCP worked to introduce the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592 and S. 314). This bill would permit pharmacists to practice, up to the level of their license as determined by their state, in medically underserved areas. These companion bills, which are substantially the same as those introduced last year, have a significant number of bipartisan cosponsors (an up-to-date list the House and Senate bill cosponsors can be found at the recent links).
ASCP produced a one-page document to use when advocating with your members of Congress it can be found here. ASCP is a member of the (The Patient Access to Pharmacists' Care Coalition) PAPCC, which is a coalition of groups dedicated to passing provider status.
To take action on provider status right now, please go to our action center and send letters to your Members of Congress.
For more information on the issue of Coverage of Pharmacists' Clinical Services Under the SSA, click here.
Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Expansion: Senator Roberts (R-KS) introduced an expansion of MTM services as part of Medicare. The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2015 (s.776) expands access to MTM services to include Medicare beneficiaries with once chronic condition. This bill does not have a companion in the House, but does have a number of bipartisan cosponsors.
ASCP Prepared a one pager, which can be found here.
This bill is timely as CMS recently announced the Part D Enhanced Medication Therapy Management Model
Pharmacy Lock-in: Pharmacy lock-in, the idea that a Part D beneficiary must get their controlled substances from an approved provider (they are locked into one pharmacy for their controlled substances), is a reoccurring theme on the Hill to prevent drug diversion. The current pharmacy lock-in bill is Stopping Medication Abuse and Protecting Seniors Act of 2015 (s.1913) was introduced right before August recess and has yet to gain many cosponsors.
S.1913 exempts facilities that contract with one pharmacy; ASCP is working to include exemptions for beneficiaries in long-term care facilities. Our one-pager is here.
CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain: The CDC issued guidelines for prescribing opioids to patients with chronic pain who are 18 years old and older in outpatient settings. Chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more than three (3)months or longer than the time for tissue to heal. Comments are due to regulations.gov by January 13. The guidelines can be found here.
Proposed Quality Measure for Medicare-Medicaid Plans: CMS is working to develop a star rating system for MMPs. This plan will be similar to those used in Medicare Advantage and Part D. Further, CMS is planning to focus on outcomes, rather than process. Please see the CMS fact sheet on the proposal here.