MPARX

Maine Pharmacy Association

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing

DHHS shared guidance documents for e-prescribing and opioid dispensing.  Notably, “A pharmacist is NOT required to verify that a practitioner has a waiver of the requirement to electronically prescribe…” To review the official documents, please click on the links below. Electronic-Prescribing-Clarifications Opioid Dispensing Clarification    

E-Prescribing Grace Period Notice and Chapter 488 User Guide

The deadline for mandatory e-prescribing of opioids was rapidly approaching on July 1st. However, the State sent the following communication announcing a 31 day grace period for enforcement of the penalties for violating the e-prescribing provision.  This is good news and will give prescribers and dispensers a little more time to prepare. DHHS provided material on other provisions in Chapter […]

2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble

Join us for our 2017 Scholarship Golf Scramble ! Where: Val Halla Country Club When: Saturday, August 12, 2017 Shotgun start 1pm Includes 18 holes of golf on a championship course, golf cart, BBQ dinner at Rachel’s on the Green! Cost: Single Golfer: $110.00 Foursome: $400.00 Dinner Only: $35.00 Corporate or personal hole sponsorship: $75 […]

Pharmacists from across Maine convene in Augusta to advocate for profession and patients

Pharmacists and pharmacy students from across the state convened in Augusta on May 30th to advocate for LD 572.   Update: Senate passes LD 572; now on to the House!  LD 572 specifies in statute that the “Practice of Pharmacy” is “the provision of health care services” and that “Pharmacists” are “providers of health care services”. […]

LD6 and LD44 Are Successfully Moving Through the Legislative Process

Good news!!  Two bills, LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on Clean Claims Submitted by Pharmacies” and LD 455, “An Act Relating to the Provision of Smoking Cessation Services by Pharmacists” are moving through the legislature process. LD 6, an “An Act to Prohibit Insurance Carriers from Retroactively Reducing Payment on […]

Archive for May, 2011

This has been an extremely busy session for Maine law makers and the government affairs people and lobbyists that follow the bills.  For pharmacy, I would estimate this session has been as busy as all the previous three years combined. Both last and this week were good examples of that.

Public Hearings

On Wednesday, May 4th…also known as “Super Wednesday” to our pharmacy legislative group, eight (8) bills received a Public Hearing with six (6) of those bills directly or indirectly relating to pharmacy practice in Maine. I wrote and provided testimony on all six of the following bills:


LD612, “An Act to Provide Reimbursement for Medication Therapy Management Services” (Support)

Would allow pharmacists to charge for MTM services.


LD1116, “An Act to Restore Market-Based Competition for Pharmacy Benefit Management Services” (Opposed)

Would repeal Maine’s PBM regulatory law.


LD1364, “An Act to Improve the Quality and Reduce the Cost of Health Care” (Neither for nor against)

AKA the 340b bill…would allow 340b qualified pharmacies to provide drugs to certain medicaid patients on a

voluntary basis.


LD1406, “An Act Regarding the Scope of Services That May be Provided by Pharmacies Owned by Hospitals” (Opposed)

Testimony was provided on behalf of one client (not MPA or MSHP). The bill would allow hospital pharmcies, not licensed by the board of pharmacy, to service skilled nursing facilities owned by the hospitals.


LD1485, “An Act to Promote Transparency in the Medicaid Reimbursement Process” (Support)

This bill allows for a 60-day comment period when MAC prices would be changed, resulting in a reduction of reimbursement.


LD1487, “An Act to Assist Maine Pharmacies” (Support)

Basically a positive re-write of the Maine Pharmacy Practices Act…enhancing Maine’s PBM law. (Support)


Work Sessions

On the following Wednesday, May 11, Work Sessions were conducted on all pharmacy bills that were heard the week before.  The results are as follows:


LD612, “An Act to Provide Reimbursement for Medication Therapy Management Services”
This bill will be “Carried Over” until the next legislative session in January…the committee feeling that it needed more information and statistics to move forward with the legislation.

LD1116, “An Act to Restore Market-Based Competition for Pharmacy Benefit Management Services” (Opposed)
The committee passed this bill much to our concern…repealing Maine’s PBM law (regulations) that had been in place since 2003.
LD1364, “An Act to Improve the Quality and Reduce the Cost of Health Care” (Neither for nor against)
This complex bill was also “Carried Over” to the next session…the committee feeling that it needed more information before moving ahead (or not) on this legislation.

LD1406, “An Act Regarding the Scope of Services That May be Provided by Pharmacies Owned by Hospitals” (Opposed)
The committee, after a lengthy discussion, voted a split decision (6-5) Aught Not to Pass the bill. Both the author of the bill and I were called up to provide additional infomation to the committee before their vote.

LD1485, “An Act to Promote Transparency in the Medicaid Reimbursement Process” (Support)
This bill was voted “Aught to Pass” as amended, allowing for a 17-day comment which was the result of a compromise with DHHS. All in all much better than we have now, no comment period where DHHS drops MAC prices any time.

LD1487, “An Act to Assist Maine Pharmacies” (Support)
The committee voted “Aught Not to Pass“, effectively wiping out the hope of any PBM regulation in Maine.

Summary

This was a day of mixed emotions for our pharmacy legislative group…two bills (LD612 and LD1364) carried over…wins on LD1406 and LD1485 and big disappointments on LD1116 and LD1487, the committee voting to support big, out-of-state corporations VS Maine pharmacy, something we did not think would happen in this session.

Respectfully submitted,
Bob Morrissette
Government Affairs Liaison

Students  Faculty with the Governor

On April 27,2011 Pharmacists from throughout the state, the Maine Pharmacy Association, and Student Pharmacists from both the University of New England and Husson University flocked to the State House to celebrate the profession of pharmacy and demonstrate our worth to the public health of our citizens!

Many thanks to Governor Paul LePage, Speaker of the House Robert Nutting, and all of the legislators that visited us in the Hall of Flags. The governing leaders of our state saw the true measure of our value to the healthcare system! With legislation for Medication Therapy Management, the expansion of the 340B program, Accountable Care Organizations, and the many new facets of the Affordable Care Act, it is good to know that our leaders are taking the time to get truly informed by the experts before making decisions that affect our careers.

Check out our photo gallery below for pictures from the event!
[svgallery name=”MPA Pharmacists Day 2011″]