A Long History of Effective Advocacy...
CPhA is the leading organization advocating for the pharmacy profession in the State of California, representing pharmacists in all practice settings. Founded in 1869, CPhA has a long history as one of the most influential pharmacy organizations in the country. Our government affairs staff in the Center for Advocacy play an active and crucial role in representing the pharmacy profession before the Board of Pharmacy, the State Legislature, the Governor, and in the Courts.
...Ensuring a Bright Future for the Pharmacy Profession
With constant changes occurring in health care policy and heavy activity in the Legislature, you need someone watching out for you. Every year, thousands of bills are active in the California Legislature. CPhA reviews all of these to identify those that will impact pharmacists and takes an active role in influencing these laws. Our professional staff is always hard at work in the Capitol so you can focus on your patients. CPhA is moving the profession forward and defending against threats to your practice.
Pharmacist Provider Status & Reimbursement for Clinical Services
Provider Status and promoting the role of pharmacists in providing patient care remains CPhA’s top priority. CPhA fought hard to pass SB 493, achieving provider status for pharmacists in California. The success of SB 493 is something that all pharmacists should be proud of. But we’re not done yet. There is still much work to be done and CPhA will see provider status through. Learn more about all of CPhA’s provider status activities here.
Pricing Transparency & MAC Updates
Fairness in reimbursement is central to pharmacists’ ability to maintain their practice. No business can stay afloat if they are paid less for products than their own purchase price. Pharmacies should be reimbursed based on transparent formulas and based on the current cost to acquire prescription drugs. The federal government has set standards for pharmacy reimbursement transparency and timeliness of updates for the Medicare program. In 2015, CPhA will pursue legislation to establish similar protections for all California pharmacies.
Influence of Health Plans and PBMs on Pharmacy Practice
Pharmacists need to be able to focus as much time as possible on providing care to their patients and ensuring the accurate dispensing operations of a pharmacy, while minimizing time spent dealing with health plan and PBM red tape. Prior authorization, step therapy, and other utilization controls do have a legitimate purpose in healthcare, but they should not unnecessarily burden pharmacists or serve as a distraction from providing quality, timely care. CPhA reviews the thousands of bills introduced each year in the legislature and plays a significant role in eliminating or minimizing potentially burdensome impacts on pharmacists, supporting and improving policies that provide efficiencies for pharmacists, and limiting the influence of health plans and PBMs on the practice of pharmacy.
Affordable Care Act / Health Care Reform
Implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) has led to a sea change in health care policy. State laws are constantly changing as well. CPhA stays on top of all health care legislation—getting actively involved in dozens of legislative bills each year that have an impact on pharmacists. We advocate for the interests of the pharmacy profession and your patients.
CURES & Prescription Drug Abuse
CPhA has been actively involved in efforts to improve the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES). With the unprecedented level of prescription drug abuse, pharmacists have an ethical and legal obligation to ensure they are properly dispensing necessary medications. But we know that the CURES system has not served health care providers well and in 2013, CPhA helped pass legislation to update and improve the CURES system.
The prescription drug abuse problem has also created fear for law-abiding pharmacists and threatened access to necessary medications for legitimate patients. As state and federal authorities clamp down on health care providers who prescribe and dispense controlled substances, we remain actively involved in legislation to protect pharmacists and ensure appropriate access to necessary medications.
Given the extent of changes in the health care workplace, and in particular the changes in many clinics, community pharmacies, and hospitals, it is important to prevent unnecessary new workplace regulations a requirements for pharmacists. It’s no secret that the California Legislature has a penchant for passing well-intentioned but ill-advised policies. This past year, CPhA has stopped efforts to require all pharmacies to take back controlled substances and for all pharmacies to perform live translations of prescription drug labels into any language. We will continue to advocate for a pharmacy practice that serves patients, but defend against overly burdensome or dangerous proposals.
Mandatory Mail Order
CPhA has sponsored legislation to give consumers a choice between mail order pharmacy and community pharmacy. This legislation was defeated in the Legislature, and we are now looking to partner with new organizations and evaluate other strategies to protect patient choice and maintain the pharmacist-patient relationship.
With constant attention from the Board of Pharmacy, compounding is an area with much activity. In the past few years, we have seen legislation to license all sterile compounders, regulate out-of-state compounders, and new regulations for sterile compounding. As the Board of Pharmacy takes action to protect consumers, CPhA ensures that new laws and regulations are appropriate and will not harm consumer access to compounded medications.
California State Budget
Each year, the State Budget has a big impact on health care. Many state-funded programs face the chopping block on a repeated basis. Medi-Cal providers still face a 10% reimbursement cut, which forces providers out of the system and harms access to health care services. These cuts made even less sense when applied to the reimbursement that pharmacies receive for the cost of prescription drugs. Fortunately, after several years of pressure that CPhA placed on the Legislature and Governor, Medi-Cal announced an exemption process from the cuts for prescription drugs that would result in a negative payment. While pharmacies still face some cuts, this change helped prevent what could have been a catastrophic impact on the Medi-Cal pharmacy network.
Pharmacists’ Professional Liability
With provider status and increased participation in clinical services comes increased potential for professional liability claims. CPhA works with other stakeholders in the Capitol to protect pharmacists from unfair laws that only benefit malpractice lawyers and increase health care costs.