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Members from various CPNP Committees participated in 25 virtual Congressional visits last week along with our government affairs consultants at the District Policy Group at Faegre Drinker. We greatly appreciate their participation in educating Congressional offices on the role of psychiatric pharmacists in providing patient care services and discussing policy options to remove barriers for patients in accessing their services. The visits specifically focused on the following requests:

  • Ensure Medicare covers and pays for comprehensive medication management (CMM) services
  • Ensure patient care services provided by psychiatric pharmacists under Medicare Part B are sufficiently reimbursed to reflect their complexity and time intensity thereby increasing the number of clinicians that can bring them onboard their care teams
  • Remove the DEA DATA waiver requirement for the prescribing of buprenorphine (H.R. 1384/S. 455) or at a minimum allow psychiatric pharmacist to be eligible for the DATA waiver
  • Remove the six-month in person visit requirement for patients receiving mental health services through telehealth (H.R. 4058/S. 2061)

The visits were with House and Senate offices that are champions for mental health, substance use, pharmacy or telehealth. Most of the offices were also on the committees of jurisdiction that pass bills to authorize programs to address CPNPs policy priorities. The vast majority of offices were pleased to learn more about psychiatric pharmacists and the need to remove payment and other barriers to enable greater access to their services and as a solution to the dearth of mental health and substance use providers. Both the House and Senate are seeking to move legislation this year but primarily next year. CPNP has also been weighing in with written comments on three separate Requests For Information from Senators on the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee that are looking to develop legislation to improve how mental health and substance use disorders are addressed.

A special thanks to the CPNP members who participated in the Hill Visits. 

  • Elayne D. Ansara, PharmD, BCPP, BCPS, Indianapolis, IN
  • Carla D. Cobb, PharmD, BCPP, Billings, MT
  • Ericka L. Crouse, PharmD, BCPP, BCGP, FASHP, FASCP, Richmond, VA
  • Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP, FASHP, Baltimore, MD
  • Tanya Fabian, PharmD, PhD, BCPP, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Michelle L. Geier, PharmD, BCPP, San Francisco, CA
  • Cindy A. Gutierrez, PharmD, MS, BCPP, San Antonio, TX
  • Robert J. Haight, PharmD, BCPP, Saint Peter, MN
  • Jessica L. Ho, PharmD, BCPP, BCPS, Burke, VA
  • Jennifer Miller, PharmD, BCPP, Wilkes-Barre, PA
  • Cristofer M. Price, PharmD, BCPP, Providence, RI
  • Richard J. Silvia, PharmD, BCPP, Boston, MA
  • Caitlin M. Wise, PharmD, Nashville, TN
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