Idaho State Pharmacy Association
The Idaho Pharmacist
(Mic) Hess, R.Ph.,
Owner/Pharmacist Northwest Pharmacy, Potlatch, ID
President-Elect, Lorri Gebo-Shaver, Pharm.D.,
Owner/Pharmacist, Super Save, Pocatello, ID
1st Vice President, Stanley R. Gibson, R.Ph.,
Regional Supervisor, Fred Meyer, Boise, ID
President, Cathi Ketterling,
Staff Pharmacist, Sav-Mor Drug, Buhl, ID
Secretary-Treasurer, Vicki Baer, R.Ph.,
Med Now Pharmacy, Boise, ID
Immediate Past President, Karen Fisher, R.Ph.,
Owner/Pharmacist, Karen’s Family Pharmacy,Hailey, IDStudent Representative, Krista Robel
While attending the NACP convention in San Antonio, I remarked to myself how lucky I was to find a hotel room in a convention city like the one I was staying in. I stayed in the Red Roof Inn, about five blocks from the convention center. I came across this because of an email JoAn forwarded to me from another exec who knew about this hotel. The convention rate at the Marriott—directly across from the convention center was $193. They Hyatt Regency about a block away was $175 per night. These 2 were the only hotels mentioned in the registration packet. I paid $39 at the Red Roof Inn. It is a new hotel, and although I didn’t get small bottles of lotion, cologne, shampoo and cream rinse, I did get a continental breakfast at this price. I was marveling at my fortune, as it really is hard to find hotel values at conventions. I have stayed miles away and had to rent a car just to get to the facility, this kind of wipes out the savings. I then went on to think about after I write this trip off through my business, I effectively save another 40%. About this time, I am thinking, why, if were to have these in Canada and get another 30% off because of the exchange, they will be nearly paying me to go to convention. It was then that it hit me square in the face—the typical employee pharmacist probably would not be able to get much of a tax break from attending C.E. that effectively is so expensive. Ah ha! Another reason why joining an association is not as attractive. This whole process got me thinking about how "in the box" we as an association think about what we do. Of course the leadership of ISPA has always been made up mostly of owner-pharmacists. We now realize that we have to engage employee pharmacists if we are to represent pharmacy, since employees are now a vast majority of all pharmacists. We have tried to expand our thinking, but the process is tough. We are lucky to have Stan Gibson on the board, but Stan is still a district pharmacy manager, who has tremendous cooperation from his employer to attend meetings and spend the time with us that it takes. Most rank and file employee pharmacists are not that fortunate. This leads me back to struggling with how we engage the majority of pharmacists to be involved in the future of their association.
Something else came up recently at our retreat. Our moderator, Randy Thompson, who used to work for WSU and now is an independent consultant, recently did a study for the WSPA regarding the effectiveness of the organization. Oddly enough, the results showed that, as innovative as WSPA—and believe me it is well respected across the country as being on the edge of promoting this profession—it has had little effect on the practice of its members. We were totally amazed, I cannot imagine how amazed the WSPA board was. Therefore what is important to our members? In the short term, all indications are that we be filling twice the number of prescriptions we do now within only five years. There is a severe personal shortage, and we want to increase our involvement in our patient’s care. The math doesn’t work. Other issues seem to be a standardized prescription card, working conditions, shrinking margins, lower contracts offered by managed care, status of the pharmacist as a health care professional, etc. In this environment, how can we move pharmacy ahead when we are up to our ears in work now? These are big questions, and no simple answers. The only C.E. presented at the NCPA convention that dealt with drugs was alternative products. Missing were new drug updates, reviews, or the usual stuff. Instead the meetings all mostly dealt with pharmaceutical care, reimbursement for pharmaceutical care, and technology. Clearly as a profession, we are concerned with the role of the pharmacist in patient care, monitoring, and outcomes, but we are mired in the short term issues. I propose we must work on all these things, as thin as it may appear to spread us. Your association will of course concentrated on legislative issues—but everything is so interrelated that nothing can be ignored.
I am really open to suggestions. Please help us identify how we can
represent the practice of pharmacy in Idaho more effectively. Please call
or email me with suggestions or concerns about how to expand our base of
members, especially with those you work with, but also those who do not
know the importance of taking control of our profession. Let me know what
that pharmacist wants. We are essentially a political entity in our effectiveness,
and we need to know where you the pharmacist wants us to take you.
Update on ISPA’s activities:
The ISPA officers participate in a conference call every month to keep updated on events, meetings, proposed legislation, and issues affecting Idaho pharmacists. If you have an item that you wish discussed, simply contact one of the officers or the ISPA office to have your item included on the next agenda.
During the retreat Randy Thompson, facilitator of the retreat, proposed a project. Randy will hold focus groups throughout the state with a survey following to evaluate the association and how it fits the needs of Idaho pharmacists.
JoAn has attended over 40 hours of meetings with the Idaho Association of Commerce & Industry and Legislators regarding "Privacy of Personal Information" including prescriptions. During one of the hearings ISPA provided input on the senate bill passed last year regarding patient prescription privacy.
ISPA board members attended the College of Pharmacy, Dean’s Advisory Committee meeting, to stay informed on the college’s projects and to offer input on what the real life practice of pharmacy requires. ISPA has increased the activities with ISU students, making presentations to P-1’s at orientation and during their 2nd semester. ISPA participated in the Pharmacy Fair at the College of Pharmacy. Currently we have over 45 member students,
JoAn has attended interim legislative committee hearings throughout the summer. Input and or testimony was provided on several occasions during these meetings.
The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee has been working with the Department of Health & Welfare and consultants were hired to investigate and recommend ways to manage the Medicaid budget and control costs. The consultants’ report was presented 11/28/00.
Once again, several items were targeted to reduce costs. Pharmacy being the top one! The report recommended that the dispensing fee be reduced back to $4.54 from $4.94 and the AWP be reduced to minus 12% from the current minus 11%. This issue will be the main focus for ISPA during the 2001 Legislative Session.
One of Pharmacy’s best supporters did not win her race this year for the Legislature, Dorothy Reynolds. Dorothy was always fair and great to work with. She will be missed. A complete list of legislative committees will be published for your convenience in the near future.
Standardized Prescription Claim (Benefit) Card. ISPA is working with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Association (NACDS) and the Idaho Retailers to improve the cards. IS legislation the right focus now? The ISPA board members and the Idaho Retailers association feel that education first, is important. If this avenue does not produce satisfactory results, then ISPA will prepare legislation.
Discount Cards: As always, after legislation is passed, additional information is needed to either enforce the law or to tweak it to fit. Right now, the ISPA needs copies of discount cards appearing, and if possible the letter accompanying the card to the patient with the instructions or benefits. If this card is not related to an insurance plan, or it is even questionable, please submit this information so we can check into the cards and hopefully prevent the patients from paying for a service that is not legal in Idaho and save the pharmacist hassles in the future! But we need help from the pharmacists.
ISPA always attends the Board of Pharmacy meetings to monitor their legislative agenda, rules and issues and provide input when necessary.
November 30 JoAn attended a meeting with the Idaho State Police.
Methanphetamine was the topic. A group of people was brought together
to discuss ideas on how to curtail the making of this drug. The State
Police have asked for pharmacy’s assistance in this problem. This
is a problem that affects all communities and every citizen of Idaho.
The ISPA office will contacting each local association to schedule a meeting
for a presentation from the State Police and to obtain input from area
As you know, ISPA has hired staff assistance. Especially with the preparation for the legislative session and all the meetings that go with it, JoAn is out of the office attending these meetings. Please either leave a message with Kathrine or in voice mail for JoAn. She checks her voice mail regularly and will return your call at the earliest opportunity.
|Legislative Day at the Capitol, January 18, 2001, 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Come visit with your legislators. ISPA, ISHP and the College of Pharmacy will have exhibits set up demonstrating areas of pharmacy practice. This is a great time to experience the legislative atmosphere and visit with your legislators.|
|Joint Spring Meeting with ISHP – March 3-4, 2001, Boise, St. Alphonsus McCleary Auditorium. The agenda for this popular two-day continuing education program is in the process. In January watch your mail or log on to the ISPA Web site for the registration brochure.|
|Tri-State Convention: June 7-10, 2001 at the Resort. Once again Idaho, Montana, and Washington are meeting at the Resort. Come join the fun!|
|Please take the time to figure out what you will realize from the lobbying and grassroots efforts. A complete end of session legislative report will be sent out by the 1st of April. ISPA members can be proud of their efforts. This is the busiest legislative session ISPA has witnessed in at least 14 years and ISPA came out on top of every issue.|
|Joe Brunson, Idaho Department
of Health & Welfare, meets with the Medical Care Advisory Committee
In the last newsletter, we reported that a co-pay will be implemented in Idaho, but that it will not affect pharmacy. That statement was in error. Co-pays will apply for prescription drugs as well as other Medicaid programs. A pharmacy will bill Medicaid the full amount of the transaction and then will have to make a reasonable attempt to collect whatever the amount is designated as the co-pay. If collected, the pharmacy retains the co-pay amount. It is actually a bonus. However, remember, you may not refuse to fill a prescription on the grounds the patient is unable to pay the co-pay. If you refuse one Medicaid patient, you must refuse them all.
All of these efforts were reinforced with the assistance of the Idaho Retailer’s Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and a terrific job from the ISPA member grassroots. A special thank you goes to Stan Gibson, R.Ph., ISPA’s 2nd Vice President. Stan put in many hours attending sub-committee meetings, visiting with legislative committee members and testifying before the committees.
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If you have an e-mail address or fax number you have not provided ISPA and would like to be included in this type of communication, please send your information to: 208-424-1102 Fax or e-mail it in to: [email protected]. It is so much easier, less time consuming and a lot less expensive to use these methods of communication.