Advocacy Center

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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

Current Legislative Issues

Current Regulatory Issues

Policy Resources

Current Legislative Issues

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 bill moving through congress is the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA), S. 524. CARA the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee incorporated language from the Stopping Medication Abuse and Protecting Seniors Act of 2015 (S.1913) in CARA. This bill passed the Senate with an exemption for long-term care facilities. ASCP is working to include exemptions for beneficiaries in long-term care facilities. Our one-pager is here.

Interoperability: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, Pensions committee advanced S.2511 that promotes interoperability. ASCP is working to ensure that this bill gives adequate consideration is given to pharmacy service providers.


Regulatory Issues

Payroll-Based Journaling: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) required CMS to change the way they collect staffing data in long-term care facilities (LTCF). Payroll based journaling (PBJ) is mandated to begin on July 1, 2016 (see FAQ below)

In section 6106 of the ACA requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to collect specific information on staffing data (hours worked, census data, etc.) and patient census data from long-term care facilities as part of the ensuring staffing accountability provision; however, CMS can also use this data as part of the Star Ratings Program. The method for such data collection is PBJ.

In April 2015, the Office of Survey and Certification at CMS released guidance on payroll based journaling for long-term care facilities. The 14-page Long-Term Care Facility Policy Manual (see below) outlines how and when facilities should collect and submit PBJ data. In the manual, CMS requires facilities to submit their reports on the first of every fiscal quarter. 


Payroll Based Journal: What You Need to Know (AANAC)

Long-Term Care Facility Policy Manual: Electronic Staffing Data Submission Payroll-Based Journal (CMS)

PBJ Policy Manual FAQ (CMS)

Staffing Data Submission PBJ (CMS)

AHCA Education Resources for Payroll-Based Journaling FAQ and Additional FAQ

Policy Agenda

Policy Resources

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