Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a happy holiday season and enjoyed ringing in the New Year as we said goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019! Here in the mountains of Western North Carolina we experienced a very snowy December which set the stage for reading good books and spending time with family and friends by the fireside in our winter wonderland.
It was wonderful to see so many of you in Anaheim for the ASHP Clinical Midyear Meeting! The Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners held multiple networking sessions focused on pain management, reimbursement, home infusion, medication management services, and practice advancement. For the second year, the Section Advisory Group on Clinical Practice Advancement hosted a poster session, which provided additional opportunities for networking and idea sharing. The Section Executive Committee participated in a full day meeting discussing contemporary issues that will shape the work of the Section for 2019. A summary of the great conversations that occurred in the networking sessions can be found on ASHP Connect.
Spending time at Disneyland while in Anaheim for the Midyear Meeting was magical. Brightly lit trees and fireworks at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle cast a special glow on the pharmacists who had the chance to visit Mickey Mouse and their favorite Disney Princess while at Midyear. Walt Disney had the innate ability to create experiences for Disney guests and demonstrated a commitment to pursuing his dreams and living his life with curiosity. As ambulatory care pharmacists, we can learn much from Walt’s leadership lessons. Our Section seeks to ensure that every patient has access to an ambulatory care pharmacist, and Section Advisory Groups have developed a multitude of resources for the Ambulatory Care Resource Center that inform our members about developing and expanding services. The American Medical Association recently described how to incorporate a pharmacist into practice in their forward-thinking publication, Embedding Pharmacists into the Practice . Together we can achieve our goal of advancing ambulatory care pharmacy practice.
At the Midyear Meeting I attended the State Affiliate Workshop and was inspired by pharmacy leaders across the country who are revising collaborative practice agreements and state protocols to reach more patients, partnering with payers to be reimbursed for their services, and targeting high risk populations to improve outcomes. Governor Kasich of Ohio recently signed SB 265 into law, recognizing pharmacists as providers in order to enhance patient access to care. In 2018, North Carolina Medicaid began to allow Clinical Pharmacist Practitioners to bill at the level of service provided which increases the financial sustainability of ambulatory care practice models. Many states such as California, New Mexico, Oregon and others, are tackling the public health concern of unintended pregnancies that can lead to negative maternal fetal outcomes by creating new systems for pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraception. At this workshop, I was once again reminded of the important role that our ASHP state affiliates play in advancing practice, and encourage everyone to engage and advocate for our profession at the state and local level.
As you dive into all that 2019 has in store, the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners is here to help you think, dream, believe, and dare. As always, please feel free to contact me to share ideas and feedback about how we can support your practice in ambulatory care.
Mollie Ashe Scott, Pharm.D., BCACP, CPP, FASHP
Chair, Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners