Steven M Burghart, DPh, MBA, BCPP
“Too many critics mistake the deliberations of the Congress for its decisions.”
CPNP is more invested in government affairs than at any time in its history. The board of directors made a strategic commitment to pursuit of specific initiatives that will lead to a very specific outcome, namely, neuropsychiatric pharmacists as an important component of the health care team, working in collaboration to improve outcomes for individuals living with mental illness.
Why is this important to CPNP? Because you, the members, told us it was important to you. You told us you wanted to see qualified pharmacists able to be paid for the important patient care activities you provide. Provider status for pharmacists is important, but provider status alone does not get us there. We must also provide a covered benefit that demonstrates improved patient outcomes. Comprehensive Medication Management (CMM) as a covered benefit under Medicare Part B is a patient care process that can achieve the goal of getting the medications right and is a pharmacist inclusive, reimbursable patient care service. This month’s Perspectives includes a series of informative articles from Carla Cobb, Carey Potter and Charlie Caley on CPNP initiatives related to CMM and the legislative process behind making CMM a reimbursable service.
Another initiative with the potential to result in a covered benefit is expanding patient access to buprenorphine for treatment of opioid use disorders. Bethany DiPaula and Ray Love provide an excellent update on work of the Substance Abuse Task Force. I am happy to recently have had the opportunity, with Ray and Bethany, to meet with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Physician Assistants to begin a dialogue for future legislative activities.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has opened the door for discussion of reform of reimbursement. See the excellent article by Jerry McKee and Sheila Botts for more details. I look forward to the next CPNP Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida, April 19-22, 2015 where we will hear Joseph Parks and Troy Trygstad’s keynote address on the ACA and Mental Health Care: Can We Deliver?
True to our 2015 Annual Meeting theme, CPNP is growing the future of neuropsychiatric pharmacy. We are glad to count you as part of this team effort. Thank you for a successful 2014 and the promise of an even more successful 2015!
Happy Holidays to you all!