Revolutionizing the MPA Membership Model: Change for the Good

The Missouri Pharmacy Association has been faithfully serving pharmacists since the 1800s. From advocacy to continuing education to networking and everything in between, the MPA has been your source for professional advocacy, resources and growth. As your association continues to ensure improvements in the value we provide to our members, we wanted to take the opportunity we have in front of us to reach more pharmacists in the state.

With a mindset to provide more value to a broader group of pharmacists, we’re revolutionizing our membership with an additional category: Business Members. The goal of the business member is to provide increased value for a great price! For $360, a business member would sign up for a year long membership and every pharmacist and technician in that individual pharmacy location will receive the benefit of being an MPA member (Individual member pricing: $280/year). Each additional location will also pay $360 and receive the benefit of membership for all pharmacists and technicians that work in that facility.

Our desire is two fold. We want to connect with more pharmacists and expand our member numbers to be more effective in our advocacy efforts. Secondly, since the MPA is the strongest state wide pharmacy organization focused on promoting pharmacists as the medication expert in Missouri, we wanted to ensure that we made it as easy as possible for not only the store owner/pharmacist in charge/manager to be a member of the MPA, but also any staff members who are pharmacists and technicians. This effectively broadens our base of members and strengthens the voice of pharmacy in our state.

The new model will allow you to provide value to your employers as well. Wouldn’t it be nice to tell employees in your store that they’ll be able to join the Missouri Pharmacy Association because you purchased a business membership that covers all pharmacists and technicians? These new members will receive all of our award winning communications, emails, education resources, networking opportunities, discounts to MPA partners resources, etc. that come along with being an MPA member. The cost? $80 per year more per store location than an individual membership ($360 for business membership compared to $280 for an individual membership).

Upgrade your membership, today!

Sincerely,

Missouri Pharmacy Association Board of Directors and Staff

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Observations from a Medicaid Committee Hearing – Kennett, MO

By: Megan Baker, PharmD Candidate, 2014
Summer 2013 MPA Rotation Student

As a 6th year pharmacy student on rotation with the Missouri Pharmacy Association, I had the opportunity to attend a committee meeting to hear public opinion on Medicaid expansion. The committee consists of 50 legislators, healthcare providers and citizens who visit different areas of Missouri to learn about the public opinion on the expansion of Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (referred to as ACA). People from the community are able to witness to the committee about their opinion on the Medicaid expansion.

I can tell you that as a student I did not know much about Medicaid. I knew that copays didn’t exceed $2 for participants and that in order to qualify you had to have little to no income. I did not know that pharmacies are provided a dispensing fee of $4. I also did not know that there could be tiers of coverage in the Medicaid system. Some people will not have any copays or premiums to meet monthly while others have higher copays and premiums to meet, which extends beyond the pharmacy benefits they receive.

I attended the committee hearing in Kennett, Mo., which is part of Dunklin County in the bootheel. Dunklin, along with its neighboring county Pemiscot, have the highest percentage of Medicaid recipients in the state of Missouri. Included among the people that testified to the committee were healthcare administrators of the hospitals, concerned citizens and even a few committee members. Most people in attendance were for the expansion or reform of the current Medicaid system.  One person in particular was for the expansion because he was having trouble paying his bills for the month after he meets his out of pocket expenses required by new Medicaid regulations. He also stated that he worked all his life and gave back to the community when he could so when he needed help he was not afraid to ask. Most of the stories and information given by the participants were for Medicaid expansion due the benefit of the communities and residents that may include more jobs for citizens and more people covered under the expansion.

It was definitely a different experience for me. It was an opportunity to see beyond the counters of a community pharmacy experience with Medicaid recipients and into a more comprehensive view of the people we provide with pharmaceutical care.

The Medicaid system was established in 1965 as an amendment to the Social Security Act. Medicaid is currently financed with state and federal funds. If state legislators approve the expansion, it will be 100 percent financed by the federal government from 2014 – 2016 with decreasing funding for the following years. Funding will be lowered in increments to 90 percent by federal government over the next eight years. States are required to cover children, qualified parents, and pregnant women with low income, older adults and low income people with disabilitie. Under the expansion of Medicaid, more people will be eligible for coverage with a predicted 200,000 Missourians gaining healthcare coverage. According to some reports, Medicaid expansion under the ACA is expected to bring approximately 24,000 jobs into Missouri communities.

Missouri does have the ability to opt-out of the expansion due to a Supreme Court ruling, which would mean declining the additional funding from the federal government provided under the ACA. Currently, expansion has not passed in the state of Missouri and there is no deadline for opting in or out per the federal government. To learn more about the economic aspects of Medicaid Expansion in Missouri, you can review the University of Missouri’s study The Economic Impacts of Medicaid Expansion on Missouri.

Sincerely,

Megan K. Baker
Missouri Pharmacy Association Rotational Student
PharmD Candidate 2014
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
student@morx.com 

 “The Missouri Pharmacy Association promotes the role of pharmacists in patient care relationships as the medication expert.”

The Importance of Mentoring (REAL LIFE EXAMPLE)

By: Annie Rogers, STLCOP Student, 2013 Summer MPA Rotation

It’s not difficult to be a mentor. It takes a pharmacist with a passion for their profession and the understanding that their future rides on the successes and failures of students once we graduate. Invite a student to tag along, work out loud, and introduce us to the way you work and the people you work with. They will be happy to just watch and learn. They will find their niche as long as you show them how you found yours and allow them to see how you continue to succeed.

If you think you don’t have time, it takes less time to invite a student to look over your shoulder than it does to say you don’t have time. If you think you don’t know any students, reach out because we are not that hard to find.  If you are ever introduced to or approached by a student, jump on the opportunity to show them why you are and why they should be passionate about the pharmacy profession. Ask what their interests are and if they don’t match yours, introduce them to someone with similar interests. The most important part, after the introduction, is the follow-up. Get their business card or contact information and give them yours. If there is ever an opportunity for them to get involved, let them know.

I came from a zero to six pharmacy school and entered the pharmacy world right out of high school. Looking back, I can honestly say I knew next to nothing about pharmacy. I knew no pharmacists, no pharmacy technicians or interns, and no pharmacy students. In other words, I had no one to guide me and no one to tell me the secrets to their success. I didn’t realize how important having a mentor was until doors started opening and opportunities I never imagined were presented to me. If you had told me I would be the APhA-ASP Student Political Advocacy Network Liaison, a member on the MPA Legislative Committee, and have the honor and the courage to speak in front of over 250 pharmacists and pharmacy students at Missouri Legislative Day, I wouldn’t have believed it.

How could someone with no connections and zero contacts in the pharmacy world be granted all of those opportunities? The answer is simple; I had a mentor who was dedicated to opening my eyes to the intricacies and inner workings of pharmacy and the importance of getting involved as a student. He invited me to follow him around at Missouri Legislative Day. He stepped back and allowed me to speak to a legislator. He introduced me to pharmacists who were taking the profession to new heights. He told me why he became actively involved in moving the profession forward and how it was the best decision he had made. Now I can say that becoming involved in the profession, both politically and in the community, has made me see pharmacy in a whole new light and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

I would like to encourage all pharmacists to take the initiative and pick a student to mentor. It may be one of the most important and rewarding things you do in this profession.

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If you’d like to get in touch with MPA’s rotation student, Annie Rogers (Pharm.D. Candidate at STLCOP), you can send an email to student@morx.com.

The Best Legislative Day Ever! #LegDay2013

MPA Legislative Day attendees at the Missouri Capitol Building.

MPA Legislative Day attendees at the Missouri Capitol Building.

On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, the Missouri pharmacists, technicians and students who attended our Legislative Day will remember it, up to this point, as the most successful Legislative Day the MPA has ever hosted in Jefferson City. You can expect people to remember that it was the largest crowd ever with more than 200 students, nearly 100 pharmacists, and a smattering of associate and technician MPA members in attendance. They’ll remember a number of legislators speaking directly to the audience about the importance of their profession and the evolving healthcare field in Missouri. They’ll recall how fast the ice cream was gone in the rotunda of the Capitol Building at our Annual (and highly reviewed) Central Dairy Ice Cream Feast for legislators.

If you unfortunately were unable to attend, you’ll have missed so many great interactions, networking opportunities, tours, hearings, sessions, student reviews and interviews, drug screenings, food and fellowship. From expert speakers and legislators, to students giving the crowd their perspective on the importance of being involved in the legislative process, there were many notable highlights to this event.

And, it was historic not only for the content and networking delivered, but by the sheer numbers of those in attendance. Thanks to the leadership of both UMKC and St. Louis schools of pharmacy, we had another huge year of student involvement at this event. The St. Louis College of Pharmacy had busloads of students in attendance. Also, thanks to the leadership of UMKC staff, we were even able to administer an exam to students in a private location at the facilities so they would be able to take their test and still attend #LegDay2013.

Thanks to the Tweets and many hours of legislative meetings and discussions, the MPA can rest assured that the legislators in Jefferson City have heard your voices and seen your white coats in our state’s Capitol Building. Thanks to all who attended and were so thoroughly involved. Thanks to the staff of the MPA for organizing this event. Thanks to the schools who brought hundreds of students to descend on our Capitol. And, thanks to our members who have made this organization into the premier industry advocate for pharmacists in the state of Missouri.

God bless,

Travis Fitzwater
Chief Operating Officer
Missouri Pharmacy Association
travis@morx.com | (573) 636-7522

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