Kentucky: HB 457, introduced by Reps. Steve Sheldon (R-District 17) and Danny Bentley (R-District 98), both pharmacists, is headed to the House floor. This bill provides comprehensive PBM reforms to protect patient choice and pharmacy access in Kentucky. NCPA is proud to support this legislation.
Maryland: House Bill 1219 recognizes pharmacists as health care providers and authorizes reimbursement parity for their services. This bill also mandates insurance coverage for services within a pharmacist’s scope of practice. There are significant cost savings and improved health outcomes associated with pharmacists receiving optimal payment rates. We are happy to stand with the Maryland Pharmacists Association in support of this bill that ensures more patients have greater access to care while supporting the sustainability of local pharmacies in the community. NCPA submitted comments on Maryland HB 973, which would address issues in existing regulations of PSAOs. The bill was favorably reported by the House Health and Government Operations Committee.
Minnesota: NCPA submitted written testimony to the Minnesota House Health Policy and Finance Committee in support of HF 3854 which would authorize pharmacists to prescribe and dispense “preexposure prophylaxis” (PrEP) and “postexposure prophylaxis” (PEP) to prevent human immunodeficiency virus infections. The bill includes permission for pharmacists to order, conduct, and interpret laboratory tests related to PrEP and PEP and mandatory coverage for these services. The legislation safely expands HIV prevention and treatment access to patients, and we thank the Minnesota Pharmacists Association and Minnesota Retailers Association for the opportunity to support this important legislation.
Nebraska: Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) signed LB 767 which requires PBMs to obtain a license to operate in the state and provides the state with regulatory oversight over PBMs. Congratulations to the Nebraska Pharmacists Association and all community pharmacy advocates for this win!
Ohio: NCPA and the Ohio Pharmacists Association sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine (R) applauding efforts to reform Ohio’s Medicaid managed care pharmacy benefit. Ohio Medicaid managed care recently adopted a single PBM, Gainwell Technologies, to administer the pharmacy benefit. The letter underscores the importance of adopting a transparent benchmark such as a NADAC or AAC and an adequate professional dispensing fee. NCPA participates in ongoing stakeholder meetings addressing the new changes, such as network and reimbursement issues. The new single PBM model will be implemented on July 1, 2022.
Virginia: NCPA submitted a letter of support to the Virginia Senate Committee on Education and Health in support of House Bill 1323 which directs the state board of pharmacy to adopt regulations related to workplace safety that protect the health and safety of patients. Increased workload and reports of burnout, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, have been associated with medication and dispensing errors. NCPA has submitted two letters to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy concerning work environment requirements within pharmacies and their impact on care and patient safety.
West Virginia: NCPA submitted a letter urging West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) to sign HB 4112 into law. The bill would give patients greater authority to choose which in-network pharmacy to fill their prescriptions and would address the arbitrary “specialty” designation that PBMs use to steer patients to PBM-owned pharmacies.