Advocacy Updates - June 23, 2015
Mike Jawer, AANP Director of Government and Public Affairs
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
by: Mike Jawer, AANP Director of Government and Public Affairs

Section: State and Federal Advocacy

Time Runs Out on CNPA Scope Expansion Bill

Despite strenuous efforts, HB 6707 – the Connecticut bill to obtain prescriptive authority for NDs – ran out of time to be considered (though there’s a small chance for the legislature to consider it in a special session).  Given that a law was enacted last year to modernize NDs’ scope of practice in the state – a landmark accomplishment – hopes were high that prescriptive authority could follow.  While the Connecticut Medical Society and Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants did all they could to oppose the bill, it’s significant that the state’s Public Health Commissioner, Jewel Mullen, MD, MPH, was willing to consider.
Kudos go to the Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association and the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine for advancing this legislation.  Having garnered support from new allies in both the legislative and executive branch, they will be back at it next year! 
Medicare Scripts from Nonphysicians Will be Paid if Allowed By State Law

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has directed health insurance plans to accept pharmacy claims for prescriptions written by providers who are not physicians but are allowed by state law to prescribe drugs.
The goal of the regulation, issued May 1, is to avoid unintended interruptions in drug coverage caused by a regulation CMS published a year ago.  At that time, CMS required plans to deny pharmacy claims written by providers who either aren’t enrolled in or have opted out of Medicare.  That rule aimed to prevent fraud and abuse.  Since then, however, CMS learned that some states allow drugs to be prescribed by certain pharmacists and other providers who do not meet the statutory definitions of “physician” or “eligible professional” eligible for Medicare.  The amended rule clarifies that valid prescriptions from these providers will be accepted.
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