MPhA News

Small Doses

September 15, 2017
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Editor’s Note: During last week’s Annual Learning Networking Event, MPhA made note of Mission Moments — those times when a member clearly exemplified our mission to advance patient care. As we move forward through the coming year, we hope to showcase these Mission Moments as part of Small Doses. If you have an example to share, please send it to Laurie Pumper.

As he accepted MPhA’s Harold R. Popp Award, Dr. Todd Sorensen mentioned his work as Executive Director of the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management (AIMM). AIMM is a national community of learning that assists health care organizations in incorporating the principles of comprehensive medication management into inter-professional models of care and measuring the impact of those efforts. This work allows pharmacists in all settings to find the best solutions for patient care.

Minnesota News

New MDH Opioid Dashboard

The purpose of the Opioid Dashboard is to be a one-stop shop for all statewide data related to opioid use, misuse, and overdose death prevention. The collection, analysis, and dissemination of data and information is made possible by the Minnesota Department of Health's Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, interested parties can sign up for email updates by entering an email address on the right hand side of the Opioid Dashboard.

Some recent data from the dashboard: Total opioid overdose deaths (376 in 2016) and nonfatal hospital-treated opioid overdoses (2,074 in 2016) are getting worse. Prescribing practices for opioids are improving.

Use Your Member Benefits

Complimentary On-Demand Virtual Coffee Break Webinars Available to MPhA Members

MPhA offers monthly educational webinars that provide you with education from experts on best practices, trends, effective solutions, and quality resources to help you advance your career as a pharmacy professional. E-learning is ideal for those who are unable to travel long distances for continuing education programs. The program provides opportunities to obtain CEs from the comfort of your home or office with both live and on-demand options. There are enough programs in the archives to earn your entire 2-year pharmacist CE requirement — at no cost!

Registration Fees

  • FREE for MPhA Members, including Pharmacy Technicians, students and residents
  • $25 per person per webinar for Non-members

National News

MedPAC Addresses Role of PBMs and Specialty Pharmacies

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Sept. 10: On September 7, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) convened a public meeting to consider issues including: 1) telehealth services; 2) the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) and specialty pharmacies; and 3) ways to encourage Medicare beneficiaries to use high quality post-acute care (PAC) providers. There were no votes or recommendations presented during the sessions.

Telehealth issues will be examined extensively during the 2017/2018 meeting cycle, and the Commissioners indicated that they would also take up PBM and specialty pharmacy issues and post-acute care discharge issues later this cycle as well. The PBM/specialty pharmacy session was intended to provide technical background on drug supply chain issues to the Commission. Many Commissioners commented on the complexity of the issues raised during the presentation, including specialty drug coverage, direct remuneration reporting, and PBM ownership of specialty pharmacies, and suggested that some of these issues be examined separately in future sessions. The Commission also discussed policy issues including the role of exclusive specialty pharmacy networks in Part D, PBM transparency rules, and whether MA prescription drug plans should manage specialty drugs that are under the medical benefit. NCPA will continue to meet with MedPAC to discuss our experiences and concerns with PBMs, DIR fees, and issues surrounding specialty networks.

Pharmacy Organizations Weigh in on Physician Value-Based Payment Programs

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Sept. 10: NCPA, APhA, AMCP and ASCP recently weighed in with CMS with recommendations on how to better incorporate pharmacist services into Alternative Payment Models. CMS included metrics in the 2016 final MACRA rule that specifically mention pharmacists — including a medication reconciliation post-discharge measure and the implementation of medication management practice improvements that recognize physician practices for “integrating a pharmacist into the care team.”

The groups recommended that CMS incorporate and/or test an APM model focused on optimizing medication use and health outcomes as part of coordinated care delivery through the use of pharmacists. In addition, consideration should be given to how reporting systems can meaningfully capture the contributions of various health care practitioners, including pharmacists, to improving quality outcomes and managing costs. The groups also supported the comments submitted by the Pharmacy Health Information Technology (PHIT) Collaborative, focused on implementation of the Pharmacist eCare Plan which will be instrumental in facilitating standardized, interoperable exchange of pharmacists’ medication-related activities, plans and goals for patients. Not having pharmacists’ contributions documented in the EHR infrastructure also minimizes the ability to measure the value they provide.

MPhA Events

Register Now for Next Week’s Virtual Coffee Break Webinar

USP Chapter 800: The Basics
Wednesday, September 20, 11:30 a.m. CDT

USP Chapter 800 has been very controversial in the breadth of its scope and potential impact on all pharmacies. In this month’s MPhA Virtual Coffee Break webinar, expert speaker and MPhA member Denise Frank, BPharm, will cover the history and content of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs (HDs) in Healthcare Settings, and USP Chapter 800 as it applies to all pharmacies. Additionally, we will discuss in more detail the requirements and process for a pharmacy to list HDs in stock and for performing a risk assessment. We will also review the physical requirements of the pharmacy personal protective equipment (PPE), and staff training requirements.

Read more

September 20, 2017 • Online Webinar
FREE for all MPhA Members • Non-member cost: $25 per person

Register Online

Register Now: Delivering Medication Therapy Management

Saturday, October 21, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

This program qualifies you to register as a provider with MN Medicaid and conduct and receive payment for Medication Therapy Management services. APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services Certificate training program (3rd Edition) presents a systematic approach for developing, implementing, delivering, and sustaining MTM services.

It includes an overview of the marketplace for delivering MTM services, guidance for implementing MTM services in pharmacy practice, a review of the essential skills and knowledge needed for performing MTM successfully, and an organized process for identifying medication-related problems. The purpose of this certificate training program is to prepare pharmacists to improve medication use through the delivery of MTM services in a variety of practice settings.

Facilitators: Julie Jackman, PharmD, BCACP, Genoa Healthcare; and Michelle A. Johnson, PharmD, BCACP, Fairview Pharmacy Services

Registration Deadline: September 25

Read more

October 21, 2017 • Saint Paul, MN
MPhA Member Cost: $499 • Non-member cost: $625

Register Online

Save the Date: Southeast Minnesota Pharmacist Night Extravaganzapalooza in Rochester

Thursday, October 12, 5:30 – 8 p.m. CDT

Join us for an interactive evening and town hall as area pharmacists from the 11 counties of the Southeast District of MPhA gather and welcome current President Michelle Aytay and MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig to Rochester on Thursday evening, October 12, at the Kahler Apache Hotel with food provided by The Canadian Honker. Our meal is provided through the gracious support of Pharmaceutical Specialties of Rochester, makers of Vanicream and the new Vanicream Z-Bar. (

Marsha will provide a dynamic session entitled “21st Century Cures Act,” in which you will learn the goals of this wide-reaching legislation, the major provisions within each of the Act’s core areas of discovery, development and delivery of medical products, and how patients, researchers, pharmaceutical and device manufacturers, payers and health care providers will be impacted by the Act. The session is approved for 1 hour CE with the MN Board of Pharmacy.

Michelle and Sherwood will then lead the town hall portion of the evening where we will have a good old-fashioned opportunity to share our ideas, concerns and thoughts with each other and MPhA leadership. The Town Hall will begin with thoughts from the University of Minnesota’s new Dean Lynda Welage. Our District has a long history of hosting the Dean, including Dean Banker and Dean Speedie.

The event begins with registration and networking at 5:30 p.m. We promise to adjourn by 8 p.m.

Members attend FREE. Non-members are $15.

Watch for more information and registration soon!

Did You Know?

October Is American Pharmacists Month: Prepare Now!

American Pharmacists Month (APhM) is only about two weeks away, and it’s a perfect time to reflect on the vital role you play in health care. You and your fellow pharmacists make a difference every day, so use APhM to show off what you can do, emphasizing the APhM theme, “Know your pharmacist. Know your medicine.” Here are some ways to celebrate your daily contributions to the health of your patients and community.

  • In the Pharmacy: Decorate your pharmacy with APhM signage and banners. You can get these items at
  • In the Community: Stage exhibits or booths at malls, grocery stores, or other community locations, and connect with shoppers to let them know that you are a qualified, knowledgeable, and accessible member of the health care team.
  • Online and in Media: Call your local television stations, newspaper, and radio stations to spread the word about your events and invite them to see what you do firsthand. Offer to be interviewed on medication or other health topics you are comfortable discussing, especially those that affect your community most.
  • On Campus: Hold giveaway events at school athletic events, and place APhM messages on the scoreboard and in the program. Talk to athletes and coaches about the medication issues that affect them.
  • Advocate: Host a visit at your pharmacy, pharmacy school, or other practice setting to make personal connections with lawmakers. Tell them about the services you provide and the untapped potential of pharmacists as health care providers. To learn how, visit

These are just a few suggestions! Let MPhA know what you and your pharmacy are planning; email today.