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  • 06/25/2020 12:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens standard was revised by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 to require the use of safer medical devices and to maintain an exposure control plan. Personnel who have the potential to be exposed to a bloodborne pathogen must meet the requirements of this standard, including annual live training, or risk facing fines. This includes pharmacists and others who administer immunizations, provide point-of-care testing involving blood or who are involved with handling sharps containers.

    Registration is open to get yearly OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen training. The course cost $45 and provide 1 hour of CE for pharmacists and technicians. Multiple session dates are available now through November to accommodate various work schedules.

    Click here for more information.

  • 06/12/2020 10:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New recommendations provide guidance to health systems and patients as COVID-19 cases decline

    Under the direction of President Trump, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a guide for patients and beneficiaries as they consider their in-person care options. During the height of the pandemic, many healthcare systems and patients postponed non-emergency, in-person care in order to keep patients and providers safe and to ensure capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. As states and regions across the United States see a decline in cases of COVID-19, CMS is providing these recommendations to ensure that non-emergency healthcare resumes safely and that patients are receiving needed in-person treatment that may have been postponed due to the public health emergency.

    “Thanks to President Trump’s unprecedented expansion of telehealth, many patients have been able to access their clinicians while staying safe at home. But while telehealth has proven to be a lifeline, nothing can absolutely replace the gold standard: in-person care,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Americans need their healthcare and our healthcare heroes are working overtime to deliver it safely. Those needing operations, vaccinations, procedures, preventive care, or evaluation for chronic conditions should feel confident seeking in-person care when recommended by their provider.”

    On April 19, CMS issued Phase 1 recommendations to safely resume in-person care in areas with low incidence or relatively low and stable incidence of COVID-19 cases. CMS is also providing more information as healthcare systems, providers, and facilities further expand in-person care delivery. Recommendations cover a range of topics to ensure patient and clinician safety, including facility considerations, testing and sanitation protocols, personal protective equipment and supplies, and workforce availability. As with Phase 1 recommendations, decisions to reopen should be consistent with federal, state, and local orders, CDC guidance, and in collaboration with state and local public health authorities.

    As the country continues to reopen, patients have questions about when to resume in-person visits with their clinicians. To aid patients in making a decision that is right for them, CMS issued recommendations to help guide patients as they consider seeking in-person, non-emergency treatment. Ultimately, patients should rely on their providers’ suggested course of treatment.

    The recommendations can be found here.

    The new patient guide can be found in English and Spanish.

    To keep up with the important and ongoing work of the White House Coronavirus Task Force in response to COVID-19, visit https://protect2.fireeye.com/url?k=581802b1-044d0b61-5818338e-0cc47a6a52de-406eb5e122ede3c8&u=http://www.coronavirus.gov/. For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

  • 05/29/2020 9:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you a pharmacist in Barber, Brown, Butler, Crawford, Cowley, Finney, Harper, Johnson, Kearny, Lyon, McPherson, Montgomery, Neosho, Saline, Sedgwick, Trego, Wilson or Wyandotte county? If so, you can take APhA's MTM Certificate training (21.0 contact hours of CPE credit) for free thanks to a grant from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). KPhA is offering the live seminar portion of this training via Zoom on June 13 and Aug. 8. Space is limited.

    Three types of practice-based training will spotlight cardiovascular disease management and lifestyle modification support as part of your MTM service. The self-study portion (10.0 contact hours) must be successfully completed before you attend the live seminar!

    • Successful completion of the self-study component involves passing the self-study assessment with a grade of 70% or higher and will result in 10 contact hours of CPE credit (1.0 CEUs). ACPE UAN: 0202-0000-18-164-H04-P / 0202-9999-18-164-H04-P
    • Successful completion of the live seminar component involves attending the full live seminar and completing the online evaluation. Successful completion of this component will result in 8 contact hours of CPE credit (0.8 CEU). ACPE UAN: 0202-0000-18-165-L04-P / 0202-9999-18-165-L04-P
    • Successful completion of the post seminar case exercise component involves completing 3 post cases and submitting an online attestation statement of completion. Successful completion of this component will result in 3 contact hours of CPE credit (0.3 CEU). ACPE UAN: 0202-0000-18-166-H04-P / 0202-9999-18-166-H04-P

    The Live Seminar portion will be conducted via Zoom on June 13 and Aug. 8.

    Learn more, or register today, at https://kansaspharmacistsassociation.wildapricot.org/event-3838210.

  • 05/27/2020 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Gov. Laura Kelly has called a Special Session of the Legislature starting June 3. She has requested that during this session they "put politics aside, work with her, and deliver an emergency management bill that has been vetted, debated, is transparent and addresses the need to keep Kansans safe and healthy."

    The Legislature is constitutionally directed to meet; however, there are no restrictions on what subjects may be considered during the Special Session. Additionally, any bills introduced previously remain dead and any measures that may be considered will need to be introduced during this Session.

    Gov. Vetoes Coronavirus Legislation - On May 26, Gov. Laura Kelly announced her plans to veto HB 2054 as approved by the Legislature on May 22. The legislation contained a host of provisions related to COVID-19 including but not limited to: codifying the previously issued State of Emergency Declarations, authority for Gov. Kelly to issue another Declaration with certain restrictions, legislative oversight of CARES Act funds, related liability protections for healthcare providers and businesses.

    Emergency Declaration - With the State of Emergency Declaration set to expire at midnight on May 26, Gov. Kelly issued another proclamation extending the State of Emergency. As a result of the expiration of the second Declaration, a host of previously issued Orders will have lapsed as of May 27, including EO 20-34 which implemented Phase 2 of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas”.

    Statewide Restrictions Lifted - Due to the issued State of Emergency, the statewide restrictions on businesses put into place in Phase 2 of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” have now expired. After May 27, there will be no statewide restrictions on businesses and other activities. However, county authorities retain authority to implement restrictions locally under the Kansas Emergency Management Act. During her press conference Gov. Kelly advised such authorities to refer to Phase 2 of her previously issued plan as guidance for such actions.

    The following Executive Orders were reissued:

    • EO 20-08 (Re-issued as EO 20-35): Temporarily expanding telemedicine and addressing certain licensing requirements to combat the effects of COVID-19
    • EO 20-12 (Re-issued as EO 20-36): Driver’s license and vehicle registration and regulation during public health emergency
    • EO 20-13 (Re-issued as EO 20-37): Allowing certain deferred tax deadlines and payments during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • EO 20-17 (Re-issued as EO 20-38): Temporary relief from certain unemployment insurance requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • EO 20-19 (Re-issued as EO 20-39): Extending professional and occupational licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • EO 20-20 (Re-issued as EO 20-40): Temporarily allowing notaries and witnesses to act via audio-video communication technology
    • EO 20-23 (Re-issued as EO 20-41): Licensure, Certification, and Registration for persons and Licensure of “Adult Care Homes” during public health emergency
    • EO 20-27 (Re-issued as EO 20-42): Temporarily suspending certain rules relating to sale of alcoholic beverages
    • EO 20-32 (Re-issued as EO 20-43): Temporary relief from certain restrictions concerning shared work programs
    • EO 20-33 (Re-issued as EO 20-44): Extending conditional and temporary relief from certain motor carrier rules and regulations in response to COVID-19

    Kansas COVID-19 Cases - As of May 27, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment reported 9,337 positive and 75,151 negative COVID-19 tests across 89-counties of Kansas. In total, COVID-19 has resulted in 822 hospitalizations, 275 ICU admissions, and 205 deaths across Kansas. Of those hospitalized, 534 patients have been discharged and 122 required mechanical ventilation.

  • 05/26/2020 11:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kimberlinh Kim, a P3 at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy (Class of 2021), realized she had a passion for pharmacy after she started a career as a Registered Nurse.

    "I started working in a pharmacy to gain healthcare experience for nursing school," she explained. "Even after completing nursing school and working as a Registered Nurse, I continued working at the pharmacy. After a rapid response one day – we had to provide Narcan to a patient – I realized that there was a reason I didn’t stop working at the pharmacy after I graduated, it was because I had a passion for pharmacy."

    Kim is interested in practicing as an ambulatory care pharmacist after graduation. "Working with patients and helping them to manage their long term disease states and assist them in their medication management is a major aspect of the pharmacy profession," she explained. "Working as an ambulatory care pharmacist will help me to do that by establishing a long-term relationship with my patient and their families, provide education, manage their medications, and provide collaborative care."

    Collaborative care is what she sees as the future of pharmacy. "I see it as being more collaborative in all settings," she said. "I’m hopeful that pharmacists in our community, especially in rural areas, will be able to do more health screenings that lead to collaborating with the doctors to initiate medications and help with their management."

    Kim draws inspiration from her mother, who immigrated to the United States as a child after being orphaned. "When I was old enough to learn her story," Kim shared, "I asked her how she could be so happy all the time. She told me: 'Life isn’t always easy, but it is still yours, you make of it what you can.' What she said often helps me gain perspective when things get stressful."

    And when things get stressful, Kim remembers some advice she once was given: "We all know we should be kind to others, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself," she said.

    She encourages those new to pharmacy school to get envolved and find their passion. "If you have the mindset of ‘get into pharmacy school, get done, and go out into the workforce’, I encourage you to keep an open mind, she said. "Join an organization, find your passion and your reason for ‘why pharmacy’. Remembering why you chose this amazing profession and what you’re doing it for will definitely provide that motivation.

    "Pharmacy school is difficult and it's important that when you’re stressed that you remember you’re studying for your patients not just a grade."

  • 04/23/2020 5:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    KPhA recently sent out invoices for unpaid membership dues. A majority of those were for members that had been set up on recurring billing.

    A change to our billing system requires that all recurring billing members update their credit card information. That can be done by logging in to www.ksrx.org or calling 785-228-2327.

    If you have already updated your billing information, Thank You!

  • 04/23/2020 5:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We've been hearing a lot from members regarding difficulties related the ESI/Prime Therapeutics transition. We have been collecting information and plan to conduct additional out-reach to the companies involved.

    If you have anything you'd like to share with us for consideration in those conversations, that doesn't violate your contracts, please email Aaron Dunkel at aaron@ksrx.org or call 785-228-2327.

  • 04/08/2020 11:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The relationship a pharmacist builds with their patients is what drew Leah Taliaferro to the profession. A 2020 candidate for PharmD at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, she is interested in ambulatory care, pediatrics and community pharmacy practice settings.

    "Over the course of my rotations, I have acquired a variety of interests and have loved exploring all that pharmacy has to offer," she said.

    Her interst in pharmacy began while shadowing a pharmacist at her local Target store. "She hired me to work the summers and holidays when I was back home from school," Taliaferro said, "and I fell in love with building those same relationships that I saw when I was shadowing her."

    Taliaferro draws inspiration from her mother, who she says is successful, strong, genuine, and loving – qualities she strives to attain. She also follows the adage "treat everyone like you would want to be treated.”

    "It is a mindset that I try to apply to not only patient care but all aspects of life," she explained. "If everyone I come across throughout the day feels like I genuinely care about him or her, then it’s a good day."

    Her advice to other pharmacy students is to "Get involved!

    "My favorite memories from pharmacy school are from the student organization activities that I have had an opportunity to be a part of," she said. "I have had the opportunity to meet some really amazing people and be a part of some great projects through those activities."

  • 04/08/2020 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Don. R. McGuire Jr., R.Ph., J.D.

    The case of Rutledge vs. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PMCA) is to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in late April 2020.  It is a very important case for the pharmacy profession in their ongoing battle with Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBM).  The individual legal issues in the case are complicated, but the general point of the case is fairly simple; can an individual state regulate PBMs within its borders?

    The law at issue was passed by the Arkansas General Assembly in 2015.  The law contained many provisions, but the major ones address Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC) and pharmacy reimbursements.  It provided that pharmacies must be reimbursed at a cost higher than or equal to the pharmacy's cost, even if this amount would be greater than the MAC.  It also required the PBM to update MAC lists within 7 days of an increase in costs.  The law also allowed a pharmacy to reverse a charge and re-bill it if the pharmacy was unable to order the drug at less than or equal to the MAC.  It also introduced a "decline to dispense" option if the pharmacy would lose money on the transaction.

    PCMA brought suit in Federal Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas asserting that Arkansas' law was preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and by Medicare Part D regulations.  The District Court ruled that Arkansas' law was preempted by ERISA based on a previous 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case, but was not preempted by Medicare Part D regulations.  PCMA appealed to the 8th Circuit and the appeals court ruled that the Arkansas law was preempted by both sets of laws.  ERISA preempts any state law relating to employee benefit plans.  Medicare Part D regulations prohibit interference with CMS standards that exist between Plan D sponsors and pharmacies. 

    The Solicitor General of the United States asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case because he believes the ruling is contrary to prior Supreme Court precedent.  The Attorneys General from 31 states and the District of Columbia also asked the Supreme Court to take the case.  The Supreme Court is not required to take all appeals, and it often doesn't, so it is significant that the Court decided to take this case.

    The major importance of the case is that states have had difficulty in passing laws to regulate PBMs that aren't later found to be preempted by Federal law.  The ERISA precedent that the District Court relied on came from a previous attempt by Iowa to regulate PBMs.  Iowa's law specifically mentioned ERISA and Arkansas had tried to avoid a similar fate by not mentioning ERISA in their law.

    PMCA argues the Arkansas law interferes with 2 different CMS standards.  The first is the Negotiated Price standard.  This standard addresses the price for a particular drug that has been negotiated between the part D sponsor and the network dispensing pharmacy.  Under this standard, the District Court found this law didn't directly affect the CMS standard because the negotiated prices provisions are not a substantive standard.  The appeals court disagreed because of the number of provisions that dealt directly with reimbursements to the pharmacy.  The second standard is the Pharmacy Access standard.  This standard requires plans to have sufficient numbers of pharmacies in their network to assure convenient access for the plan participants.  The appeals court found here that the "decline to dispense" option would decrease pharmacy availability for the plan participants.  The most novel argument in the case concerns the question of the ERISA preemption.  This has been interpreted very broadly in the past.  If the state law relates to and has a connection with an employee health plan, then ERISA controls and the state law is preempted.  The argument in this case is that Arkansas' law doesn't affect ERISA plans because it acts on the third party administrators and claims processors, some of whose customers include ERISA plans.  Arkansas argues their law affects the relationship between PBMs and pharmacies, not ERISA plans. 

    Once the case is heard, it will likely take months for a ruling to be handed down.  If the Supreme Court can be persuaded that the Arkansas law is not directed at ERISA plans, the ruling would allow that law to stand and create a roadmap for other states to follow Arkansas' lead.  If unpersuaded, the Arkansas law will be struck down.  While other attempts could be made by individual states, the ultimate solution will most likely have to come from the Federal level.        


    © Don R. McGuire Jr., R.Ph., J.D., is General Counsel, Senior Vice President, Risk Management & Compliance at Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company.

    This series, Pharmacy and the Law, is presented by Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company and your State Pharmacy Association through Pharmacy Marketing Group, Inc., a company dedicated to providing quality products and services to the pharmacy community.

    This article discusses general principles of law and risk management.  It is not intended as legal advice.  Pharmacists should consult their own attorneys and insurance companies for specific advice.   Pharmacists should be familiar with policies and procedures of their employers and insurance companies, and act accordingly.

  • 04/07/2020 12:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pharmacist donates more than 10 gallons of homemade hand sanitizer to SEK first responders

    BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — For Wolkar Drug owner Brian Caswell, putting patients first has always been the top priority. So, when coronavirus scares made their way closer to home, the decision to close off the front end of the Baxter Springs store to protect both patients and staff did not come easy. But, Caswell says that the pharmacy is staying busy with other means of staying connected with patients.

    Read more.

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