Over the last two General Assembly sessions NCAP has introduced legislation designed to modernize statutes governing Collaborative Practice between Physicians and Pharmacists. North Carolina was one of the first states in the nation to enact collaborative practice authority (CPA) for pharmacists. However, our state’s CPA now ranks as one of the most restrictive, imposing extensive and outdated limits on these practice relationships. The proposed changes are in alignment with Collaborative Practice Model Language put forth by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations.Each of the proposed changes are designed to provide greater flexibility and to more easily facilitate collaborative care with physicians and pharmacists in all practice settings.
Pharmacy Benefits Manager
Pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs for commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and state government employee plans. PBM’s often act in ways that have a direct negative impact on pharmacies and patients. Their activities have contributed to the large decline in the number of independent pharmacies all across the United States.
Addressing unfair PBM business practices in NC is a TOP PRIORITY for NCAP during the 2021 legislative session. We will introduce legislation calling for PBMs to be licensed to operate within our state, so that the Department of Insurance and the State Insurance Commissioner can create rules resulting in greater accountability and transparency designed to strengthen existing and provide new consumer and pharmacy protections.
Pay parity ideally means, in accordance with a pharmacist's scope of practice, the pharmacist shall receive equal payment for the provision of the same patient care services, as compared to other paid healthcare professionals. Such services include comprehensive medication management, administering & interpreting CLIA-waived tests, and acute or chronic disease management. Pay Parity is an NCAP legislative priority for the 2021 legislative session. In North Carolina, statutes already designate pharmacists as “healthcare providers.” Pharmacists should be paid the same as other health care providers when they provide the same patient care services.
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Pharmacist Authority to Administer Medications
The current COVID-19 crisis has further demonstrated the importance of utilizing all available resources in the effort to provide timely health care to all our citizens. Even before the advent of our current crisis, chronic diseases, increasing health care costs, and primary care and nursing shortages, as well as the shift to value-based, patient-centric care were all pointing to the need to expand the pool of healthcare professionals and to have those professionals practicing to the height of their licenses.
The Centers for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, the American Medical Society and many other organizations have recommended greater utilization of pharmacists in patient care and for removing unwarranted barriers or restrictions.
Yet, North Carolina is only one of 3 states that has no statutes providing medication administration authority. NCAP seeks to rectify this situation by introducing legislation in 2021.
North Carolina ranks in the bottom one-half to one-third of the nation on many measures of public health and welfare. Pharmacists can play an important role in improving access to care and patient outcomes. Unfortunately, North Carolina cannot count itself among the states that have authorized their pharmacists to help address public health needs beyond a limited provision of immunizations. NCAP’s “Public Health” bill is designed to address this problem by allowing pharmacists to have limited prescriptive authority for medications pursuant to statewide protocols designed to address a number of public health needs in our state.
Purpose & Objectives
The North Carolina Association of Pharmacists is the state organization representing the profession of pharmacy, organized to unite, serve and advance the profession of pharmacy for the benefit of society. The organization was formed January 1, 2000 as a unification of the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association (NCPhA), North Carolina Society of Health-System Pharmacists (NCSHP), North Carolina Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (NCASCP), and North Carolina Retail Pharmacy Association (NCRPA).
NCAP exists to unite, serve and advance the profession of pharmacy for the benefit of society.
NCAP will be recognized as the essential organization representing pharmacy in North Carolina, fostering the advancement of pharmacy practice to improve the health of the people we serve.
Strategies to Accomplish Our Vision.
1101 Slater Rd, Durham, NC 27703
As the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and the NC General Assembly have worked to meet needs generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, NCAP has been actively participating in discussions, plans, and proposed legislation for better facilitating the role of pharmacists in helping our citizens receive quality care while our state works to gain normal operations again. NCAP is particularly focused on ensuring that community and independent pharmacies are enabled to play their important role in testing and vaccination administration