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A Great Start to 2015

Feb 19, 2015
Christene M. Jolowsky, M.S., R.Ph., FASHP

Christene M. Jolowsky, M.S., R.Ph., FASHP

EVEN THOUGH IT’S BEEN A DREARY, DIFFICULT WINTER for much of the country, I’m hoping that what I want to talk about today puts a smile on your face. I will take the opportunity of my first column of the new year to tell you about a number of exciting endeavors happening at ASHP.

Winning on Provider Status

Leading the way this year are some exciting successes regarding provider status for pharmacists. As ASHP CEO Paul Abramowitz noted in his recent blog, ASHP’s work to enact provider status legislation has resulted in the introduction of H.R. 592, the “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act,” and its companion S. 314. Both bills will allow Medicare to reimburse pharmacists in medically underserved communities for certain healthcare services.

On behalf of ASHP, I extend our thanks to the bipartisan co-sponsors of the legislation on both the House and Senate side, including Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Congressman Todd Young (R-IN), and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) as well as Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Robert Casey (D-PA) .

This is a big bipartisan win in a new Congress, and we are so grateful to the many ASHP members who have been involved in this advocacy effort. The emails, phone calls, hosted health-system site visits, and member visits that you’ve made to your Congressional representatives and senators have made all the difference. But we can’t give up now! We need to keep reaching out to our legislators to urge them to pass this legislation. To find out how you can get involved, visit our advocacy center on ashp.org.

A Fast-Growing Area of Practice

Did you know that ASHP’s Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners is our fastest-growing membership area? It’s not surprising, given how many ambulatory clinics, physicians’ practices, infusion centers, etc., across the country are including pharmacists on their patient care teams.

ASHP is focusing tremendous resources and effort on expanding opportunities for members who practice in these and other outpatient settings, including adding great new content to the Ambulatory Care Resource Center and making the Ambulatory Care Conference a permanent part of ASHP’s Summer Meetings.

We also are working on a new Ambulatory Care Self-Assessment Tool that will help pharmacists identify patient-care gaps and opportunities for improvement. Like its companion the Hospital Self-Assessment Tool, this web-based resource is designed to help you prioritize the changes you wish to make in your practice. Stay tuned as we work toward a spring launch date!

Residency Accreditation News

ASHP members who are residents, preceptors, or residency program directors will be happy to learn that Katrin S. Fulginiti, B.S.Pharm., M.G.A., has been named the new ASHP Director of Residency Accreditation Services. Katrin was formerly ASHP’s director of Process & Quality Improvement in our Accreditation Services Office. Prior to joining ASHP, she worked at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., where she served in various positions, including as residency program director of the ASHP-Accredited PGY1 Managed Care Program and as director of the ASHP-Accredited Technician Training Program.

That’s just one of the many wonderful things happening in accreditation services. ASHP also is continuing its rollout of our new PGY1 residency standards, which simplify and reduce the number of goals and objectives to be achieved. The new guidance document for the PGY1 standard should be completed in the spring. Watch for future revisions to the PGY1 community and managed care standards and the PGY2 standards.

ResiTrak, which is being redesigned based on the new PGY1 standard and on recommendations from the ResiTrak users group, will transition to PharmAcademic™ for those on the new standard by June 1. We think that ASHP’s members who are preceptors and our student members will be very happy with this new web-based tool that fully integrates curricular outcomes, assessments, and experiential education.

Changes to ASHP’s Strategic Plan

Everything that ASHP does is related in some way to our Strategic Plan, which helps us work toward collective goals and objectives, prioritizes ASHP’s work, and allows us to be more effective as we drive improvements in patient care and advance practice.

ASHP’s Board of Directors recently updated the Strategic Plan, adding three new goals. They include:

Advance Patient Care and Pharmacy Practice in Small, Rural, and Underserved Settings

ASHP’s membership is made up of practitioners who work in all kinds of settings, from large academic medical centers to hospitals and clinics in small, rural, and medically underserved areas. This new goal solidifies our commitment to members who practice in these special settings. And it ensures that we will continue to develop tools, resources, and best practices for this unique area of practice.

Address the Needs and Interests of Pharmacists Who Practice in Multi-Hospital Systems

As more and more hospitals and health systems consolidate, ASHP members who work in these large and diverse healthcare systems find unique challenges. So, ASHP is dedicated to helping these members succeed in their organizations by offering the kinds of support, resources, and services that they need.

Helping Members Lead and Address Issues Related to Specialty Pharmacy

ASHP will soon offer resources specifically designed to help health systems address the growing use of specialty pharmaceuticals. A resource guide is being developed that will assist in determining the best specialty pharmacy business and patient care strategy, coupled with targeted education through webinars and ASHP live meetings. Stay tuned for this and more, including an ASHP Specialty Pharmacy Resource Center.

A More Timely and Responsive Policy Process

ASHP’s policy making process is the backbone of much of what we do to serve you, our members, and to advance practice and patient care. The policies approved by ASHP’s House of Delegates drive all of our initiatives, from legislative advocacy to the creation of practice resources.

I’m excited to share with you the changes we’ve made to create a more timely and responsive policy process based on recommendations of ASHP’s Task Force on Organizational Structure. This year, we will kick off a year-round policy process, which includes meetings of our policy committees in February, July, and September, along with new and enhanced ways for all ASHP members to participate in the process. We’re also launching a virtual House of Delegates in addition to the face-to-face meeting in June, an innovative online approach that will allow us to work virtually together on policies that lend themselves to consensus.

This is just a taste of the exciting work that is going on at ASHP as we continue to support your professional aspirations to be the best patient care provider you can be. Much has been done, but there is always more to do! You can bet that ASHP is hard at work on your behalf.

Sincerely,

Chris

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