A Message from the Legislative Chair
Steph Luon, PharmD, BCACP, BCPS
It has been a monumental year for legislative changes to advance health system pharmacy practice in the state of Connecticut! This newsletter has previously shared the new legislation that went into effect on July 1st: SB 186 An Act Concerning Collaborative Drug Therapy Management Agreements and Policies. The changes enhance patient care as they enable pharmacists to engage in collaborative practice agreements (CPAs) with clinicians or groups of clinicians to manage populations of patients. It grants caregiving institutions authority to outline policies for how pharmacists and clinicians engage in CPAs and removes the requirement for each patient to be individually referred by a clinician.
Passage of this law eliminates the requirement that each clinician and pharmacist must sign a new agreement and a new referral order for each patient every time a change is made to medications included within the agreement. This adjustment enables pharmacists to provide care for more patients through a population-based approach to care and enables an oversight group or supervisor to sign on behalf of all clinicians and pharmacists within their span. With this change, pharmacists can now utilize their advanced training and medication expertise to enhance safety by supporting medication refills, proactively targeting patients with elevated A1Cs, supporting patients’ hyperglycemia management after organ transplantation, and providing additional timely support to patients navigating challenges in chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting to name a few. As pharmacists are able to provide care to more patients, this improves quality of patient care, helps reduce hospital readmissions, reduces cost of care for patients and health systems, and enhances patient safety as they have more support and guidance to manage their healthcare journeys.
Within the image below (accessible at https://NASPA.us/resource/swp/), on the spectrum of advancement of pharmacist practice, before July 1, 2022, pharmacists from CT were in the most restrictive practice box. This made it more challenging for us to support patient care needs and to recruit highly qualified pharmacists to come to CT. With this new legislation, pharmacists prescribing is now permitted through population-specific CPAs.
The need for these advances is why I got involved in advocacy through CSHP. Now that they have gone into effect, and after 3 years as legislative chair, I am stepping down from this role.
What do you wish you could change about pharmacy practice? Do you want to lead our state towards more autonomous prescribing or improved reimbursement for pharmacy services, a tech check tech model, or to prohibit site of care restrictions?
If you or anyone you know are interested in leading the legislative committee as chair or co-chair, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.