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Public Policy Update – Caring for Lawmakers

21 Jan 2021 4:35 PM | Anonymous

By Nathan Hanson, PharmD, MS, BCPS; Healthtrust Supply Chain

We are in the People Business.

Every day, we go to work to take care of people. Pharmacists are in the business of protecting, educating, persuading, and serving people. It’s what we do, as we interact with patients, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals. Today I’d like to ask for your help in educating, persuading, and serving a different group of people: Lawmakers!

Politicians Are People Too

As I have written in other articles, pharmacists, technicians and interns have to play according to the rules, and those rules have their foundation in the laws that are passed in Jefferson City. Part of MSHP’s 2021 strategic plan is to increase the amount of education and guidance we provide to the lawmakers who are working hard to create good laws that keep the Missouri public safe. That takes time, and it takes focus, and it takes effort. We can’t do it by ourselves. Will you help?

Three Ways to Help

We have a Public Policy committee that meets monthly to provide updates and discuss our options for getting engaged. We are also forming work groups to focus on provider status, reimbursement for cognitive services, and MSHP advocacy and education on legislative topics. If you would like to add your listening ear and your voice, please email me so that you can join our committee.

We are getting ready for the annual Legislative Day, which will be 3/30. This is a time for Jefferson City to focus on pharmacy, and it provides an opportunity for the Missouri Pharmacy Association and Missouri Society of Health System Pharmacists to come together with one voice to remind our lawmakers of the important role we play in caring for patients. It is a Tuesday, and usually there are events scattered throughout the day, so you will need to make a plan in order to be able to participate. Of course the event will look different this year, so stay tuned. We are not ready for signups, but if you are interested in receiving updates, please email me and I will keep you informed.

If you are not available on 3/30, that is no problem at all! There are 51 other weeks this year where you can reach out to your senator or representative and begin the process of building relationships with them and educating them on pharmacy-related topics. With the COVID vaccine in the news, all eyes are on pharmacy right now. This is a great time to begin the process of meeting the person who represents you so that you can provide them with important information when they need it. Don’t know who your lawmakers are? You can find them here in less than a minute. Send them an email to get on their email list. Don’t feel equipped to speak on behalf of Missouri Pharmacy? Email me and I will provide you with some talking points and agenda items to discuss.

Caring For Lawmakers

Remember, we are in the people business, and our lawmakers are people who need our expertise and care. Let’s make 2021 the year when we start making a difference in our patients by caring for our lawmakers!

Don’t Miss What the Public Policy Committee Has Done!

Advocacy 101 Webinar:

This is a 1 hour webinar that gives the basics about advocating for our patients at the legislative level and at the regulatory level. It is a brief tutorial of ‘how things work.’ Link

Public Policy Updates:

  • January/February: Advocacy: Leadership In Action for Pharmacists and Technicians
    • It is our job to understand the current rules so we follow them correctly, and improve the rules, using the systems that are in place.
  • March/April: Advocacy: A Winning Game Plan, and a Winning Team
    • The game plan for advocacy is caring, prioritization, education, and persuasion. The next step is to build our team.
  • May/June: Legislative, Regulatory, and Associations
    • Do you know how change happens? Through the work of elected officials and votes; government employees, inspectors, and boards, and groups of thought leaders, providing best practices and direction for the profession.
  • July/August: Regulation in Uncertain Times
    • As pharmacists, we have a responsibility to stay knowledgeable and get involved to ensure that our patients get the care that they need. Especially in these uncertain times!
  • September/October: Leadership is Influence. Influence Makes an Impact
    • Our world’s problems may seem too large for any of us to impact, but there are many small ways we can use our influence to be leaders. We can impact social justice and advocate for important issues if we just follow these simple steps.
  • November/December: Focus On the Possible
    • As we push for provider status and other new possibilities, let’s focus on actually doing the things that we are already allowed to do! Pharmacists can already set up collaborative practice agreements. Interns, technicians, and pharmacists can provide COVID Vaccinations. We can send inhalers and other multiuse item home with your patients at discharge. Technician roles have already expanded in many ways – are you using all of your team at the top end of their license, training, and competency? While we push for more, let’s also focus on maximizing what we can already do.

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