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Brenda Schimenti, CPNP Executive Director

2021 ushers in a new administration in Washington which means turnover in key legislative and regulatory leadership. CPNP will be outreaching to these key contacts as they are appointed with the goal to set-up introductory meetings. We are preparing for these meetings and new legislative year by releasing our 2021 health policy agenda and enhanced communication tools.

We kicked off the new year by communicating our priorities to the Biden transition team. The first transition team letter was submitted in coalition with fellow pharmacy associations and the second letter quickly followed from CPNP alone detailing our specific policy priorities as detailed below.

CPNP will play an active role in legislative and regulatory advocacy to:

  1. Increase understanding by policymakers, health care professional organizations, and patient advocacy organizations on the role of psychiatric pharmacists on the health care team and the value added to the team and patient outcomes.
  2. Increase access to medication management services for mental health and substance use disorders by:
    1. Requiring CMS and other payers to pay for services provided by psychiatric pharmacists.
    2. Expanding the mental health and substance use disorder treatment workforce through use of psychiatric pharmacists.
    3. Increasing adoption of innovative care and payment models that integrate behavioral health and primary care services.

CPNP will actively work with key partners to advance legislative and regulatory policies to:

  1. Increase access to psychiatric and mental health care services, including through telehealth.
  2. Increase access to medically necessary mental health and substance use treatment medications such as long-acting injectable antipsychotics, naloxone, and medication assisted treatment (MAT) for alcohol and opioid use disorders including:
    1. Removing barriers to access to MAT such as elimination of the X-waiver requirements of the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) or at a minimum modify the X-waiver to allow psychiatric pharmacists to prescribe and manage MAT as part of an integrated care team.
  3. Increase CMS funding for psychiatric pharmacy residency training including pharmacy residency (PGY1) and psychiatric pharmacy residency (PGY2) training.
  4. Maintain the 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B) as essential in providing low-income patients access to medically necessary medications as well as psychiatric pharmacists’ services and residency training.
  5. Reduce stigma, prevent suicide, and dispel mental health myths and misperceptions for patients living with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders.
Access to Care Matters

The Government Affairs Committee has been working to improve and expand communication tools to ensure clear, user-friendly communications. Existing issue briefs have been transitioned into infographics and additional issue briefs will be developed in 2021 around the value of services provided by psychiatric pharmacists, telehealth, payment for psychiatric pharmacist services, and the importance of the 340B drug pricing program in providing access to care.

You can help spread the word by:

  1. Contacting your congressional representatives and introducing psychiatric pharmacy and yourself as a resource.
  2. Using CPNP infographics to help tell the story.
  3. Introducing the value of psychiatric pharmacists to state legislators and regulators, health care administrators, and other decision and policy makers using CPNP infographics, practice profiles, and presentation resources.
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