Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Happy Friday

JANUARY 5, 2018 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff

  1. The Medication Therapy Management (MTM) in Medicaid Pilot Program began on January 1, 2018. If you haven’t completed the steps to enroll, that’s ok! This is a two-year pilot program. Pharmacists are encouraged to continue to enroll as TennCare medical providers and establish collaborative pharmacy practice agreements with prescribers through participating Patient Centered Medical Homes and HealthLink Organizations.
  2. Federal-level recognition of pharmacists as medical providers continues to gain momentum in the US House and US Senate. Tennessee enacted legislation in 2017 which creates a pathway for pharmacists to be credentialed and paid as medical providers under commercial and private insurance plans, but federal-level action is still needed for Medicare and other federal programs. Currently, there are 241 House Co-Sponsors (TN Reps. Blackburn, Cohen, DesJarlais, Duncan, Fleischmann, and Roe) and 50 Senate Co-Sponsors signed on to this legislation! The pharmacy profession is united in its effort to achieve formal recognition and payment for pharmacists’ patient care services through passage of this important legislative initiative. TPA has made it easy for members to contact US Congressional leaders by creating a Pharmacists As Providers advocacy campaign through T-PLAN.
  3. State and federal legislators remain focused on reducing drug prices, and the pharmacy community continues to advocate for greater transparency and regulation of pharmacy benefit managers. TPA submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission in December about strategies to reduce drug pricing, including increased transparency and regulation of PBMs. CMS is also actively soliciting comments on its proposed rules, which contain several pro-pharmacy provisions. Comments will be accepted until January 16, 2018. NCPA has created sample comments to assist all pharmacy professionals in submitting comments to CMS in support of these pro-pharmacy provisions. In addition, TPA has created three PBM-focused advocacy campaigns through T-PLAN to assist members with contacting US Congressional leaders: Ban on Retroactive DIR FeesFederal “Any Willing Pharmacy” Statute, and Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency.
  4. Our nation continues to focus efforts and resources to combat the prescription drug abuse epidemic. At the state and federal levels, the DEAinsurers and PBMs, and payers such as TennCare and Medicarecontinue to impose tighter restrictions and enforce greater scrutiny on the entire pharmaceutical supply chain. Pharmacist and State Senator Ferrell Haile recently wrote an Op-Ed piece in the Tennessean highlighting the reasons that targeting legitimate prescribers and dispensers through wide-ranging lawsuits is not an ideal strategy, while also noting that “we should have zero tolerance for any physician, pharmacist, or prescriber who knowingly misprescribes or overprescribes their patient.” For members interested in submitting grant proposals around opioid abuse prevention, GenerationRx is accepting RFP proposals through January 12, 2018, for three different grants to address the opioid epidemic. Tennessee is one of four states eligible for these grants.
  5. Legalization of medical cannabis in Tennessee will be a hotly debated issue in 2018. The TPA Board of Directors recently provided comments to Senator Rusty Crowe and Senator Richard Briggs at their request, which included policy strategies to implement a medical cannabis program in Tennessee and discussions on the potential role for pharmacists.

2018 is shaping up to be a short legislative session. TPA will provide members with calls to action and advocacy updates regarding any pharmacy-related issues throughout the session, so stay tuned! Also, make your voice heard by coming to Nashville to participate in the Gubernatorial Candidates Panel, continuing education sessions, legislative reception, and Pharmacy Day on the Hill, during the TPA Winter Meetings, February 24-27, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Downtown Nashville.

Three 2018 Resolutions for Members

  1. Get Involved! TPA needs you. TPA offers members a variety of opportunities for involvement, including elected leadership, committee service, House of Delegate participation, advocacy initiatives, meetings, and projects!
  2. Share Your Stories! TPA wants to shine a light on members. Help us promote the importance and value of pharmacists and pharmacy team members in the care of patients. Stay tuned for more about this exciting new opportunity!
  3. Be Proactive! TPA welcomes and appreciates member feedback. If you have specific ideas and suggestions about how TPA can serve you better, feel free to share them with the TPA Board of Directors or the TPA Staff.

DECEMBER 22, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Holidays!”

  • On behalf of TPA President Jason Hutchens and the TPA Board of Directors, we want to wish everyone a safe, happy, and healthy Holiday season! The TPA offices will be closed December 25 and 26, 2017, as well as January 1 and 2, 2018 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.
  • The state of Tennessee released its Tennessee Nonresidential Buprenorphine Treatment Guidelines this week. These guidelines are the result of months of intensive work done by multiple health care providers and stakeholders. TPA would like to thank pharmacist participants Reggie Dillard, Wes Geminn, Chad Huntsman, and Erica Schlesinger for their contributions to these important guidelines!
  • The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy recently published proposed rules for Pharmacist Prescribing and Dispensing of Hormonal Contraceptives and the Drug Donation Repository Program. TPA is actively soliciting comments from members regarding these proposed rules in advance of the next Board of Pharmacy meeting, which is scheduled for January 30-31, 2018.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published its Proposed Policy Changes and Updates for Medicare Advantage and the Prescription Drug Benefit Program for Contract Year 2019. This CMS Proposed Rules includes some very important changes which would increase PBM transparency, better define Any Willing Pharmacy standard terms and conditions, and require DIR fees to be assessed at the point-of-sale rather than being retroactively applied. Earlier this week, TPA signed on to a joint letter, in partnership with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), expressing support to CMS for these pro-pharmacy provisions. TPA plans to submit comments to CMS on behalf of members, and urges members to also submit comments voicing support for the DIR proposal and other pro-pharmacy aspects of the proposed rule. Comments are due to CMS by January 16, 2018.
  • TPA continues to recruit all member pharmacists in all pharmacy practice settings to participate in the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) in Medicaid Pilot Program (Public Chapter 363). We’re pleased with the large number of pharmacists who have already responded and expressed interest! While this pilot program begins on January 1, 2018, all interested pharmacists should continue to contact TPA to have your name added to the MTM provider list through the New Year and into 2018.
  • TPA advocacy efforts aren’t just limited to legislation, regulation, and policy. At times, TPA springs into action to protect the reputation of the pharmacy profession from negative publicity and incorrect media stories. Earlier this week, Fox 13 in Memphis ran a story which contained incorrect information regarding the arrest of a pharmacy employee (incorrectly identified as a pharmacist). TPA quickly contacted Fox 13 and successfully worked with them to correct the errors in the story. This is just one example of TPA’s ongoing efforts to protect and promote the profession of pharmacy.

Opportunities for Members

  1. TPA is actively soliciting comments from members regarding the CMS Proposed Rules. Members are also encouraged to submit comments to CMS supporting pro-pharmacy provisions using NCPA’s sample comments.  CMS will accept comments until January 16, 2018.TPA is actively soliciting comments from members regarding the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy’s Hormonal Contraceptive and Drug Donation Repository Program proposed rules. All members are encouraged to review these rules and send comments to TPA prior to January 30, 2018.
  2. TPA has created a step-by-step resource guide and TennCare has published a dedicated webpage to assist pharmacists in signing up for the MTM in Medicaid Pilot Program. Interested pharmacists should send an email to MTMpilot@localhost to add your name to the provider list.

DECEMBER 8, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday!”

  • TPA is actively recruiting ALL member pharmacists in ALL pharmacy practice settings to participate in the Medication Therapy Management (MTM) in Medicaid Pilot Program. The program will begin on January 1, 2018. This pilot program was enacted through TPA member-supported legislation (Public Chapter 363) and creates a new reimbursable service for high-risk TennCare beneficiaries. TPA has developed a step-by-step resource guide on its website to help members complete the process. TennCare has also created a dedicated webpage for this program. Interested pharmacists should send an email to MTMpilot@localhostexpressing interest in the program.
  • TPA submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to their workshop entitled “Understanding Competition in Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics.” In these comments, TPA encouraged FTC to pursue strategies to fully integrate pharmacists as providers within the medication use process, enact greater transparency and accountability with regard to pharmacy benefit managers, resolve drug shortages, and ensure patient access to safe prescription drugs.
  • Drug shortages continue to impede patient care and wreak havoc on the drug distribution system. TPA and TSHP member Jason Vinson, Pharmacy Director for St. Francis Healthcare, recently gave an insightful interview to WREG-Channel 3 in Memphis about how drug shortages are impacting patients across the nation and ways pharmacists are working together to solve this important problem.
  • The 2017 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting took place in Orlando, Florida, this past week. Tennessee was well-represented at this meeting, with multiple members delivering presentations, presenting posters, leading continuing education programs, and participating in meeting events. Best of luck to all the student pharmacists and participants seeking residencies, fellowships, and employment!
  • The Union University College of Pharmacy Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists (SSHP) was selected as the National Winner of the ASHP Practice Advancement Initiative (PAI) video competition! The students’ video is linked above. TPA congratulates the students and leadership at the Union University College of Pharmacy for their hard work to promote pharmacist-provided care and support the ASHP Practice Advancement Initiative!

Opportunities for Members

  1. Cardinal Health has made available nearly 80,000 doses of Narcan® free-of-charge for distribution to first responders and law enforcement. Entities in Tennessee are eligible to apply to receive Narcan® free-of-charge. Apply by December 15, 2017.
  2. GenerationRx, through the Cardinal Health Foundation, is accepting RFP proposals for three different grants to address the opioid epidemic. Tennessee is one of four states eligible for these grants. RFPs are due January 12, 2018.
  3. Calling ALL Pharmacists: The MTM in Medicaid Pilot Program is currently seeking pharmacists to participate in this innovative new program! Add your name to the list by sending an email to MTMpilot@localhost.

NOVEMBER 17, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Thanksgiving!Happy Thanksgiving!”

  • TPA is thankful for all our dedicated pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, student pharmacists, and associate members who work tirelessly to provide care to patients and advocate for the profession of pharmacy! From all of our families to yours, TPA wishes you a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving Holiday! The TPA offices will be closed on Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24, in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • The Tennessee Department of Health held its “Turning the Tide: Collaborating to Prevent Opioid Abuse” summit on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Dr. Lucy Adkins, TPA Director of Pharmacy Practice Initiatives, represented TPA and pharmacists very well on a panel of health care provider organizations that included the Tennessee Medical Association, Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Nurses Association, Tennessee Dental Association, TennCare, and the Tennessee Department of Health. Dr. Julie Bennett, Clinical Staff Pharmacist in Emergency Medicine at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, also provided an excellent presentation on opioid light emergency department strategies. TPA is extremely proud of the strong representation of pharmacists in attendance at this event, as our pharmacists continue to take an active role in the fight against prescription drug abuse.
  • TPA is actively seeking pharmacists in ALL practice settings who are interested in participating in the MTM in Medicaid Pilot Program. Interested pharmacists’ names will be submitted to TennCare and will be evaluated based on practice location, readiness to provide services, and other key factors. TennCare will then work to connect eligible pharmacist providers with PCMH and HealthLink Organizations for participation in the pilot. Instructions for pharmacists regarding enrollment as Medical Providers within the TennCare Provider Network were sent to members this week. TPA encourages all pharmacists to follow the instructions and pursue involvement in this pilot program.
  • The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy met on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The Board continues to work on several proposed rules, including rules for pharmacist-provided contraceptives, drug repository programs, MTM, updates to technician rules, and registration of interns.
  • Based on practice issues identified by TPA and its members, the Board of Pharmacy will convene a work group to discuss the definition of “preventive care” as it relates to collaborative pharmacy practice. Under the current Board rules, “preventive care” does not require a patient-specific collaborative pharmacy practice agreement, but this term is not clearly defined. TPA will provide an update to members on this issue when available.
  • TPA would like to specifically recognize and thank Board investigator Dr. Tommy Chrisp on his many years of dedication and service to the pharmacy community as a Board of Pharmacy Investigator. Dr. Chrisp will be retiring in January of 2018. Congratulations on your retirement, Tommy, and best wishes in all your future endeavors!

Opportunities for Members

  1. TPA is seeking 6-8 community pharmacist volunteers in the Nashville area to share your insights regarding prescription drug access for uninsured patients. If you are interested in participating, please email Dr. Lucy Adkins at lucy@localhost.
  2. Walk, run, or bike to support APhA-ASP THIS WEEK! Student pharmacists from across the country are using the app “Charity Miles” to support the American Diabetes Association. For every mile you exercise, money will be donated to ADA!
  3. On Nov. 16, 2017, CMS introduced proposed rules to lower the cost of prescription drugs and combat the opioid crisis (fact sheet). CMS will be accepting comments until January 16, 2018. All TPA members are encouraged to review and provide comments.

NOVEMBER 10, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy FridayHonoring Our Veterans

  • Saturday, November 11, is Veterans Day, and TPA would like to especially recognize and thank all our members who are serving, or have served, in the United States Armed Forces, as well as their families. Your service and sacrifice on behalf of all of us help to ensure that America remains strong and free!
  • On November 13-14, the Tennessee Department of Health is coordinating “Turning the Tide: Collaborating to Prevent Opioid Abuse. This summit will convene healthcare professionals and stakeholders to examine what can be done in Tennessee now to collaboratively prevent opioid abuse and lower overdoses and overdose deaths. TPA serves on the steering committee for this group, and all TPA members are encouraged to attend. Here are links to the summit agenda and registration.
  • TennCare rolled out its Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Budget Presentation to Governor Haslam this week. TennCare is budgeting an increase in pharmacy costs of $17 million in state funds ($50 million total in state and federal funds). TennCare does plan to implement more aggressive limits on opioid prescriptions, including increased access to non-opioid pain medication therapies, more stringent day supply limits and dosage limits for non-chronic pain patients, and increased prior authorization requirements for all opioid refills. TennCare did not identify any planned reductions in pharmacy payments during this presentation. TPA will continue to monitor the budget for any potential changes to the pharmacy program.
  • The TPA Board of Directors met this week in Nashville to lay out the vision for TPA moving forward. Discussions centered around new patient care opportunities for pharmacists, plans to update TPA’s strategic plan, finding a permanent home for the TPA offices, and much more. Every one of our members is essential to the success of pharmacy practice, and the Board of Directors remains committed to ensuring that this association continues to serve as the voice for pharmacy in Tennessee. Applications for elected service as leaders of TPA are open through November 30, so please consider submitting your application to serve your profession and advance pharmacy practice!
  • TPA hosted its statewide training program for pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians participating in the Community Pharmacy Transformation Pilot Program this week. This pilot program was approved by the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy in September of 2017 and is scheduled to begin in January of 2018.

Opportunities for Members

  1. TPA is seeking 6-8 pharmacist volunteers to share your insights regarding prescription drug access for uninsured patients. If you are interested in participating, please email Dr. Lucy Adkins at lucy@localhost.
  2. November 13-17 is U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week. This is a great opportunity for members to engage in discussions about antibiotic awareness with prescribers and patients in your community.
  3. November 16 is the Great American Smokeout, and the American Cancer Society has some great resources for members to use in discussions with patients about the benefits of quitting smoking.

OCTOBER 27, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Happy Friday!”

  • Saturday, October 28, 2017, is the 14th DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day! Prescription drug take back days provide members with a great opportunity to work with patients and the law enforcement community to actively promote proper prescription drug disposal. The Count It! Lock It! Drop It! Campaign has lots of additional resources, including a take back event finder tool to help you identify drug disposal events in your area.
  • TPA is excited to release the fifth in a series of pharmacy-specific, member-focused Practice-Based Resource Pages this week. The Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse resource page provides members with important resources, including laws and regulations, strategies for the pharmacy team, drug disposal information, and other tools to help in the fight against prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse continues to be a priority at the national level. President Trump officially declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency earlier this week.
  • The Tennessee Joint ad hoc Committee on Medical Cannabis met for the second time on Thursday of this week in Nashville to discuss possible solutions to allow patients in Tennessee with access to medical cannabis. The TPA Board of Directors provided comments to Senator Rusty Crowe and Senator Richard Briggs at their request. These comments included policy strategies to implement a medical cannabis program in Tennessee and discussions on the potential role for pharmacists in the program. TPA has not seen any proposed language, and these comments were provided for informational purposes only. TPA will continue to monitor this issue and will provide members with additional information when it is made available.
  • The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is hosting a free webinar on November 1, 2017, from 2pm – 3pm Eastern Time with John Coster, PhD, RPh, Director, Division of Pharmacy at Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services at CMS. Dr. Coster will be discussing the Covered Outpatient Drug Rule or AMP rule and other Medicaid reimbursement issues. You don’t want to miss this opportunity!
  • As American Pharmacists Month comes to an end, it is important to recognize that advocating for increased patient access to pharmacist-provided care is an ongoing effort requiring an “all hands on deck” approach by all of us.The hiqh-quality, patient-centered care you provide every single day is essential to patients and the health care team, and TPA is proud to serve as your voice and your state pharmacy association!

Opportunities for Members

  1. GenerationRx, through the Cardinal Health Foundation, is accepting RFP proposals for three different grants to address the opioid epidemic. Tennessee is one of four states eligible for these grants. Members are highly encouraged to review and consider submitting an RFP. Proposals are due January 12, 2018.
  2. The Tennessee Pharmacy Recovery Network (TPRN) is an important organization that provides peer assistance and support services to pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians struggling with substance use disorder and the disease of addiction.
  3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared November 13-17, 2017 as U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week. This is a great opportunity for members to engage in discussions about antibiotic awareness with prescribers and patients in your community.

October 20, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Happy Friday!”

  • ZDoggMD headlined the National Community Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, and debuted an entertaining video as part of his keynote address, speaking on the important role of pharmacists as members of the health care team. Click on the video above to check it out!
  • The Senate HELP Committee, led by Chairman and Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, hosted its second hearing this week on “The Cost of Prescription Drugs: How the Drug Delivery System Affects What Patients Pay.” TPA submitted written comments to Chairman Alexander’s office in advance of the hearing. APhA CEO Tom Menighan participated in the hearing, advocating for pharmacist recognition as providers through passage of S. 109 and calling for greater PBM transparency. A recording of the hearing can be found HERE. Meanwhile, California has enacted legislation seeking to establish greater transparency and accountability for prescription drug manufacturers. However, PhRMA has pushed back on the California legislation because it does not address greater transparency and accountability for PBMs and insurers.
  • The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” aired a story earlier this week on the opioid crisis and DEA efforts to curb prescription drug abuse. Notably absent from these stories was the incredible amount of work being done daily by our pharmacists and pharmacy team members to prevent and reduce prescription drug abuse through education and training, as well as members’ efforts to ensure that prescriptions for controlled substances are clinically and therapeutically appropriate. TPA is proud of the ongoing efforts of our members and will continue to educate lawmakers, prescribers, and Tennesseans on the critical roles that you play in reducing prescription drug abuse across the continuum of care, and will continue to advocate for increased opportunities for pharmacists and pharmacy team members to lead the charge in the fight against prescription drug abuse.
  • NBC Nightly News aired a story highlighting “gag clauses” that are often included in contracts between PBMs and pharmacies. These “gag clauses” seek to prevent pharmacies from disclosing prescription drug prices to patients. As a reminder, Tennessee Code Annotated 56-7-3203 specifically authorizes a pharmacy and/or pharmacist to disclose the actual reimbursement for a particular prescription or covered service to a patient or authorized representative. This information, and much more, can be found on TPA’s Practice-Based Resource Page on Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs).
  • TPA staff met with Kevin Hartman, pharmacist and owner of Nashville Pharmacy Services, and Nashville Cares to explore pharmacists’ role in providing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) through collaborative pharmacy practice!

Opportunities for Members

  1. We all know a pharmacy colleague or partnering organization that goes that “extra mile” to improve patients’ lives and support pharmacy practice! Why not recognize them through a nomination for a TPA or Society Award? Award nominations are being accepted through December 29, 2017!
  2. Take your TPA membership to the next level! Service through leadership in TPA offers the opportunity for professional growth and the ability to positively impact your future. Leadership applications for the TPA Board, Societies, and Delegates are being accepted through November 30, 2017!
  3. “National Check Your Meds Day” is Saturday, October 21, 2017. This event is a great opportunity for members to encourage your patients to bring their prescription medications and supplements to your pharmacy practice sites for brown bag medication reviews.

September 29, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Happy American Pharmacists Month!”

  • The month of October is American Pharmacists Month! This event is a great opportunity for you to engage with your patients, your community, and your elected officials to promote the valuable patient care and services you provide to patients every single day! Visit the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) website for more information about how you can participate in this important initiative. Make sure to use the hashtag #APhM2017 and include TPA on all your posts on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, so we can share all your awesome photos and stories!
  • Leaders from TPA and the Tennessee Society of Health-System Pharmacists (TSHP) traveled to Washington, D.C. this past week to participate in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Policy Week. Pictured from left to right above are Dr. Cyrine Haidar, TPA President Dr. Jason Hutchens, TSHP President Dr. Jodi Taylor, and TSHP Past-President Dr. Mark Sullivan. Thanks for your advocacy and service to patients and for representing Tennessee in our nation’s capital!
  • According to a Wakely Consulting Group study released today by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), eliminating retroactive pharmacy payment reductions — or post point-of-sale pharmacy “direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees” — in Medicare Part D would save the federal government $3.4 billion over 10 years. “This new Wakely study is robust in its scope and thoroughness and points clearly to significant cost savings to the federal government if H.R. 1038/S.413 were passed into law,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA. “We urge Congress to move quickly to schedule hearings and advance this important legislation.”
  • October 17 is Pharmacy Technician Day! This is a great opportunity to recognize the important contributions your pharmacy technicians make in all practice settings throughout the year. Make sure to use the hashtag #RxTechDay and include TPA on all your posts on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, so we can share your awesome photos and stories! Pharmacists: Take a moment this month to acknowledge the work of the technicians at your practice site and thank them for all they do for you and your patients. Pharmacy technicians: Promote American Pharmacists Month with your fellow technicians and pharmacists in your practice setting! For additional information, go to the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) website.

Opportunities for Members

  1. October 4 is American Pharmacists Month Selfie Day! TPA encourages all pharmacists and student pharmacists to share their selfie photos expressing their love of the profession. Be sure to use #APhMSelfieDay.
  2. Attention student pharmacists and residency program directors: Make plans to attend the TSHP/TPA 2017 Tennessee Residency Showcase on October 20, 2017!
  3. Your voice as a member is incredibly powerful and vital to the future of pharmacy! Sign up today for a leadership role within TPA! Applications for TPA and Society Leadership positions are being accepted through November 30.

September 22, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Happy Friday!”

  • TPA Executive Director Micah Cost participated in a joint meeting with the American Pharmacists Association Board of Trustees and State Pharmacy Executives in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. As part of this meeting, Dr. Cost visited with several of our elected US Senators and US Congressional Representatives. TPA thanks Senator Lamar Alexander and his staff, as well as staff members from Senator Corker’s office, Congressman Cooper’s office, Congressman Kustoff’s office, and Congresswoman Blackburn’s office for taking time to discuss HR 592 / S. 109PBM oversight, pharmacy compounding issues, and other key pharmacy priorities.
  • FDA regulation of pharmacy compounding continues to be an issue of interest to the profession of pharmacy. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said last Friday that the agency is working on a new policy that would encourage more compounding pharmacies to register under a law enacted in the wake of a deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak. TPA will continue to monitor this issue, and any guidance from members is greatly appreciated.
  • The Tennessee Board of Pharmacy recently approved TPA’s proposal to implement its Community Pharmacy Transformation (CPhT) pilot project. This pilot project will evaluate a new community pharmacy practice model involving Technician Product Verification (TPV) by certified pharmacy technicians with advanced training, in order to increase the amount of time for pharmacists to provide patient care services through collaborative pharmacy practice and other innovative care models. The pilot project is in the early stages of site selection and training, and will officially begin on January 1, 2018.
  • TPA is saddened by the recent devastation caused by hurricanes throughout the mid-south and greatly appreciates the actions taken by all of our pharmacists and pharmacy professionals to help hurricane victims and support relief efforts. Governor Bill Haslam issued Executive Order #66 a few weeks back, allowing pharmacists to dispense up to a 14-day supply of medication without prior authorization. With regard to reimbursement for Florida Medicaid providers, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has posted billing guidance for providers pertaining to reimbursement for fee-for-service and managed care providers.

Opportunities for Members

  1. Your voice as a member is incredibly powerful and vital to the future of pharmacy! Sign up today for a leadership role within TPA! Applications for TPA and Society Leadership positions are being accepted through November 30.
  2. Attention student pharmacists and residency program directors: Make plans to attend the TSHP/TPA 2017 Tennessee Residency Showcase on October 20, 2017!
  3. TPA has recently released several practice-based resource pages on collaborative practice, point of care testing, PBMs, and Naloxone. These resources can be found on the TPA website under the “Resources” tab!

September 1, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Happy Labor Day (and Friday)!”

  • TPA Executive Director Micah Cost participated in a joint meeting with the American Pharmacists Association Board of Truste
  • Alan Ross, TPA’s final year student pharmacist on APPE rotation in the month of August, worked with pharmacists and student pharmacists at all three college of pharmacy campuses in the Nashville area to organize and conduct a health fair in partnership with the Madison branch of the Nashville Public Library. Thanks to all our volunteers for helping patients and representing pharmacy!
  • TPREF wrapped up its Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) this past weekend. TPREF hosted over 100 new practitioner pharmacists and student pharmacists between Memphis, Nashville, and Maryville. Participants explored their unique leadership styles, financial responsibility, difficult conversations, and ways to build professional value. Thanks to all our ELP program participants, speakers, scholarship supporters, and program sponsors for making these programs successful!
  • TPREF also wrapped up the final year of diabetes self-management education (DSME) training this past weekend. This training is part of a grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Department of Health to explore the role of pharmacists as providers and expand integration of pharmacists into collaborative, team-based models of care as non-physician practitioners.
  • TPA traveled to Union University College of Pharmacy and presented to the West Tennessee Pharmacists Association (WTPA), along with Dr. Reggie Dilliard, Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. Advocacy is essential at the local, state, and national levels! TPA encourages members to get involved in your local district pharmacists associations. Thanks to Dr. Kim Jones for the invitation!
  • TPA participated in a statewide prescription drug abuse prevention steering group, along with the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Hospital Association, Tennessee Medical Association, Tennessee Nurses Association, and others. More information on this very important initiative will be coming soon!
  • TPA met with the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance to discuss operations and oversight of Pharmacy Benefits Managers in Tennessee. Be sure to visit TPA’s Member Resource Page on Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) for state laws and additional info.

Opportunities for Members

  1. TPA is now accepting applications from pharmacists practicing in independent and chain community pharmacies to participate in the Community Pharmacy Transformation Pilot Project.
  2. The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) application cycle opens on September 1. LRPs are for qualified health professionals (including pharmacists) in biomedical or biobehavioral research.
  3. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program enables pharmacists working in nonprofit institutions to make payments on their student loans and have their remaining debt forgiven after 10 years.

June 30, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Wishing You a Safe and Happy Independence Day!”

  • TPA is sad to say goodbye to Gina Shaw, our Director of Marketing. Gina has been an essential member of our TPA team and has diligently and creatively led many innovative organizational initiatives which have greatly enhanced the member experience. Gina, her husband Ian, and their& daughter Sloane, will be moving to Wisconsin following the TPA Summer Meeting, and will be greatly missed.
  • Aaron Garst, PharmD, successfully completed his Executive Fellowship with TPA this week. Aaron has contributed greatly in this role, and thanks to his work and the leadership of Lucy Adkins, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy Practice Initiatives, TPA has successfully received several practice innovation grants to advance the role of pharmacists as providers and create new models for health care delivery involving pharmacists. Aaron has a very bright future ahead of him.
  • This month, TPA welcomed Brittany Jernigan as the newest member of our team. Brittany joins TPA as the Director of Programs and Events, and brings valuable experience and an enthusiastic, fresh perspective to this role. Brittany is prepared and ready to contribute to the success of the many meetings and events TPA offers to the Tennessee pharmacy community. Welcome aboard, Brittany!
  • According to a recent Washington Post story, Tennessee ranks 4th in the country in pharmacy robberies from 2009-2016. This report highlights the dangers pharmacists, pharmacy professionals, and patients face every day, and also highlights the importance of Public Chapter 1025which TPA successfully worked with legislators to pass in 2016. Safety and protection for our pharmacists, pharmacy professionals, and patients is vitally important, and TPA will continue to work to educate legislators and policy makers about this alarming trend in pharmacy robberies.
  • The TPA office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, to celebrate Independence Day.

Opportunities for Members

  1. The Tennessee “Pharmacists as Providers” law, one of the most important 2017 legislative victories for patients and TPA members, becomes effective July 1, 2017.
  2. Curious about upcoming USP <800> changes? ASHP recently released its Chapter <800> Answer Book. USP will also be presenting at the TPA Summer Meeting next weekend!
  3. Students and New Practitioners: The TPREF Emerging Leaders Program is fast-approaching!
    August 5 – Memphis
    August 12 – Nashville
    August 26 – Maryville

    Register today!

June 23, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
Happy Friday“Happy Friday!” Check out highlights from this past week below.

  • TPA welcomes 2017 pharmacist graduates from schools and colleges of pharmacy in Tennessee! TPA remains committed to the professional success of all our members. We also understand the financial strains that come with transitioning into the profession and are pleased to offer complimentary one-year memberships to all 2017 pharmacist graduates and pharmacists in residencies or fellowships. It’s our way of saying “thanks” and encouraging you to stay involved. New graduates will receive an email from TPA with more information about how to claim your complimentary membership very soon!
  • TPA is excited to roll out a member-focused Statewide Naloxone Collaborative Pharmacy Practice” resource page for members. This is the second in a series of pharmacy-specific, member-focused Practice-Based Resources designed to help you provide a broader range of services to patients and expand your pharmacy practice! On this page are a web-based, on-demand naloxone training program for pharmacists, the statewide naloxone collaborative pharmacy practice agreement, naloxone resources for patients, a compliance checklist, and much more!
  • The Tennessee Pharmacy Recovery Network (TPRN) held its quarterly meeting at the TPA offices in Nashville. TPA is extremely grateful to all of our dedicated TPRN Committee volunteers who selflessly give of their time and efforts to help pharmacy professionals struggling with addiction and dependency to achieve meaningful recovery, to win their battle over the disease of addiction, and to successfully re-enter the profession.
  • TPA was one of a handful of state pharmacy associations invited to participate in a meeting with NASPAAPhAASTHO, and CDC, to discuss the role of pharmacists and pharmacies in emergency preparedness efforts. Pharmacists and pharmacies play a significant role in emergency preparedness, and TPA encourages members to complete the Tennessee Department of Health’s No-Cost Contract and volunteer to serve as providers during emergencies and disasters. To learn more, contact Sean Kice, Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Coordinator at the Tennessee Department of Health, by at Sean.J.Kice@tn.gov.

Opportunities for Members

  1. The “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act” (HR 592 / S 109) now has 188 House co-sponsors and 42 Senate co-sponsors! Send your letter of support today
  2. This week, the US Senate revealed its plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act. Click here to read a summary of the Senate’s proposal. Click here to read the complete 142-page legislation. 
  3. The media and federal legislators continue to discuss pharmacy pricing and the role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). Check out NCPA’s PBM Storybook for tools, resources, and PBM reform initiatives. 

June 16, 2017 • CLICK HERE TO VIEW Updates from Your TPA Staff
“Happy Friday!” Check out highlights from this past week below.

  • TPA is excited to roll out a brand new, members-only Collaborative Pharmacy Practice (CPP) Resource Page.Thanks to the work of TPA’s ad hoc Ambulatory Care / Collaborative Practice Committee, this is the first in a series of resource pages designed to give you the tools and resources needed to implement CPP in your pharmacy practice! Members can access a comprehensive CPP Checklist, FAQ section, information about how to start CPP, sample CPP agreements, links to recorded webinars, and much more!
  • TPA participated in the first meeting of the Buprenorphine Guidelines Committee. Public Chapter 112 requires the state to produce buprenorphine prescribing guidelines by January 1, 2018.
  • TPA participated in the TennCare Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting this week to discuss the framework for the ‘MTM in Medicaid Pilot Program’ (see Public Chapter 363) that begins January 1, 2018.
  • The Tennessee Center for Patient Safety’s Medication Safety and Adverse Drug Events work group met for their monthly meeting. This collaborative initiative continues to be led by TPA member and pharmacy advocate Jackie Moreland, RN, BSN, MS.
  • TPA attended the June meeting of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy. Minutes from this meeting will be posted on the Board’s website when available.

Opportunities for Members

  1. The “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act” (HR 592 / S 109) reaches 188 House co-sponsors and 41 Senate co-sponsors! Send your letter of support today!
  2. CDC released a guide for pharmacists onAdvancing Team-Based Care Through Collaborative Practice Agreements. Tennessee was one of five states contributing to this practice-based resource!
  3. We’re less than a month away from the TPA Summer Meeting, July 7-9 in Kingsport!Register today and join your fellow pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy colleagues from across the state!