KCHP members, colleagues, and friends,
Happy holiday season! I hope this letter finds you well! In the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude, I’m reminded how grateful I am to be a part of this profession, this organization, and most of all for you! If you’re reading this, my guess is you’re engaged and contributing to the mission and vision of KCHP. Thank you!
One very successful undertaking this year was changing our executive management company to KAOM (Kansas Association of Osteopathic Medicine). This transition could not have been possible without the work of many KCHP members and leaders. We are truly grateful for the time and effort put forward! There are some more exciting changes on the horizon for the new year so stay tuned!
In addition to the above, I wanted to share with you some of the great things our board of directors has been working on this year!
Advocacy – We have been collaborating with the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) on issues such as whitebagging, 340B, drug shortages, and opioid use disorder. We’ve signed onto letters to state legislatures and congress that we feel advocate for what is best for our patients and our profession.
Organization – We worked to make the transition to KAOM and get them up to speed. We made difficult decisions such as dissolving KPRC and deciding to host our 2024 annual spring meeting independently this year instead of jointly with MSHP. These decisions were multifactorial and made in the best interest of KCHP at this time. We’ve been excited to bring back the Technician Spotlight in an effort to grow technician membership and recognize their importance. We partnered with GKCSHP for our annual Resident Research Day and Welcome Event, held a Residency Club with KU students, and have grown our pharmacy mentorship program Kannected. We collaborated with KU School of Pharmacy and KPHA on a project to help promote the advancement of pharmacy practice. There will be more to come on this.
Members – We have a newly formed Membership Relations Workgroup to try and improve our connection and communication to members. We want to provide the value you wish to see as a member! We voted to make a small but meaningful bylaw change to be more inclusive of pharmacy technician members and their voting rights. We continue to build our committees and sections (Rural Health, Ambulatory Care) and plan on working toward more opportunities for new practitioners.
Much of our focus now is on our upcoming programs, which look to be amazing! Visit our events page of our website. This is a great way to get involved and share your passion and expertise by presenting a poster or platform presentation. We are planning some fun new events at our annual spring meeting – think puppies and selfie-stations.
In closing, thank you again for this opportunity to serve you! I and the dedicated volunteer board are committed to making KCHP an organization that serves you, promotes public health and pharmacy, and serves our patients. I encourage you to get involved and to let me or anyone on the board know what we can do to meet your needs and expectations!
Katie Wilson, PharmD, BCACP
Read our October 2023 Newsletter by clicking here.
It is time to elect the alternate Kansas delegate for the ASHP House of Delegates (HOD). Kansas has three delegates in in the HOD who represent ASHP members in the state. KCHP facilitates the nomination and election process for the state of Kansas and submits names of the elected delegates to ASHP.
The alternate delegate position is a four year commitment and the term will begin on January 1, 2023
In the event that an active delegate is unable to participate in any HOD activities, the alternate delegate will be asked to attend in their place.
Call for Nominations Process
Per ASHP bylaws, delegates must be active ASHP members.
KCHP Policy Committee – All delegates (active and alternate) serve on the KCHP Policy Committee. This committee meets monthly via conference call to discuss ASHP policy issues and prepare for virtual and live HODs.
The following are expectations of Active delegates.
Regional Delegates Conference (RDC)
Deadline for nominations is: Friday, December 22nd.
To nominate someone or yourself, click here to fill out the form.
On September 13, 2023, ASHP held its annual Legislative Day in Washington, DC. Participants from Kansas had the opportunity to advocate for our patients and our profession related to the following key legislative priorities:
Reinforcing our “ask” of legislators is a meaningful method of underscoring the importance of these messages. Following is a quick-reference for specific bills of interest, highlights of each advocacy issue, and more. Contact information for each Congressperson and Representative is also included.
The Equitable Community Access to Pharmacists Services Act (H.R. 1770, S. 2477) allows Medicare patients access to pharmacist-driven test-to-treat services. Without these protections, piecemeal solutions that reimburse pharmacist services create a legal disparity between Medicare recipients and others. Targeted support for test-to-treat gets a foot in the door for more expansive measures, such as The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (S. 1491). Kansas pharmacists have been able to become signatories to our statewide test-to-treat protocol since March 2023 (K.S.A. 65-16,131), which encompasses, influenza, streptococcal pharyngitis, and urinary tract infections.
Protecting access to robust 340B pharmacy services is an essential component of pharmacoequity in the current healthcare model. The PROTECT 340B Act (H.R. 2534) prohibits pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), drug manufacturers, and other entities from enacting discriminatory policies. In the past, these actions have included under-paying for 340B medications and enacting onerous reporting requirements meant to disincentivize 340B participation. These barriers also threaten the myriad related services provided in 340B sites, such as free immunizations, medication therapy management, and patient assistance programs – particularly detrimental to patients residing in areas dependent on safety net hospitals and who are un- or under-insured. No equivalent Senate bill exists, but the pharmacy workforce advocates can ask for support for parallel bills and request support for Health and Human Services (HHS) enforcement of existing regulations.
Draft legislation of the Primary Care and Health Workforce Expansion Act, the PATIENT Act of 2023 (H.R. 3561), and the Healthcare Price Transparency Act (H.R. 4822) include provisions that reimburse “neutrally” for infusion care, irrespective of site of administration, ie physicians’ offices versus hospitals. ASHP rejects this model due to the objectively different standards of care provided in the hospital setting. When medications are infused in the hospital, additional measures are taken for safe preparation, safe administration, care coordination, and safety oversight; these steps (eg clean-room compounding, pharmacist supervision of drug preparation, drug barcoding, on-site pharmacy services) necessarily establish a higher level of care and should be reimbursed accordingly.
The pharmacy workforce is acutely aware of the harm and hardship caused by seemingly unrelenting drug shortages. While no specific bill exists that addresses this multi-faceted challenge, ASHP has compiled a comprehensive list of policy solutions that would target key drivers of constrained medication supply. Tackling these root causes would help avoid preventable major impacts on patient care, such as medication rationing, delayed care, and excessive costs.
• Enforce existing shortage prevention requirements – amend section 510(j) of the FDCA to penalize manufacturers that fail to plan for shortages as required by law
• Improve transparency into manufacturer quality – publicize metrics of quality manufacturing maturity (QMM) and un-redacted manufacturing inspection reports to allow purchasers to preferentially select more reliable manufacturers
• Encourage new manufacturers and manufacturing sites – waive generic user fees for generic drugs for manufacturers that commit to market their generic drug if approved (per 506C(g) of FDCA, via ANDA)
• Encourage long-term, guaranteed-volume contracts – provide “add-on” payments when manufacturers commit to acquiring at least 50% of historical purchase volume for products via long-term contracts; applies to selected products as defined by HHS
• Diversify the manufacturing base – encourage supply-chain redundancy by diversifying federal purchase across at least three different manufacturers for critical generic drugs as identified by HHS to be at-risk for shortage
• Finance private sector buffer supplies – finance private-sector buffer inventories at low- or no-cost
Treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)
The Fentanyl Safe Testing and Overdose Prevention Act (S. 2569) and Test Strip Access Act of 2023 (H.R. 4106) focus on medications for OUD (MOUD) and harm reduction strategies to help prevent patient morbidity and mortality related to this diagnosis. After elimination of the X-waiver – an example of successful pharmacy workforce advocacy – significant public health barriers continue to persist. Pharmacists’ clinical expertise pertaining to pain management, MOUD, and social determinants of health are invaluable in this effort. The HHS could leverage the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act for the OUD public health emergency, just as it did for the COVID pandemic to allow pharmacists greater latitude to intervene for our patients. Of particular note, fentanyl test strips have been decriminalized in Kansas with broad bipartisan support since May 2023.
A long-standing ask, ASHP requests that CMS provide transparency in the agency’s requirements for residency programs to receive pass-through funding. Ambiguity about current standards lead to funding clawbacks, creating a moving target for compliance and jeopardizing the sustainability of these essential post-graduate training programs. ASHP asks that CMS suspend cost disallowances until clear guidance is provided.
Kansas Senators (Federal)
Jerry Moran – R
(202) 224-6521, moran.senate.gov
Roger Marshall – R
(202) 224-4774, marshall.senate.gov
Tracey Mann – R (1st District)
(202) 225-2715, mann.house.gov
Jake LaTurner – R (2nd District)
(202) 225-6601, laturner.house.gov
Sharice Davids – D (3rd District)
(202) 225-2865, davids.house.gov
Ron Estes – R (4th District)
(202) 225-6216, estes.house.gov
Kansas Congressional Districts
Read our September 2023 Newsletter by click here.
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