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NCPA announces programming, features for 115th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition

BY Jason Owen

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association today announced the availability of the preliminary program and continuing education offerings for its 115th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition taking place Oct. 12 to 16, 2013, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Fla., as well as some special features of this year’s event.

“The heart and soul of NCPA’s convention are the innovative continuing education offerings and peer-to-peer networking that help independent community pharmacists remain competitive,” said NCPA president Donnie Calhoun, RPh, a pharmacy owner in Anniston, Ala. “Every year, pharmacists attending the meeting tell us they go home with an idea or tip to improve their business that more than paid for the cost of their trip.”

The meeting’s theme — Meet. Learn. Succeed. — is evidenced by many of the offerings. The 10-page Preliminary Program summarizes such key features as CE learning opportunities through “Success with Less Stress in the Pharmacy” with self-management expert Joy Baldridge, “Real World Marketing to Put Your Pharmacy on the Map” and “Audit Protection and Defense;” many chances to interact with vendors regarding new pharmacy solutions; general sessions, which include industry updates from NCPA leaders and remarks by President Bill Clinton; and events to socialize and further network, including an Opening Reception featuring Disney characters and a ticket to Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Theme Park. New this year, the Exhibit Hall will open one day early, during the Opening Reception Saturday, Oct. 12, giving pharmacists an additional opportunity to explore vendors’ offerings.

NCPA has also published on its website the full schedule of 34 CE sessions for meeting attendees. In addition to the topics mentioned above, other CE sessions include “Fantastic Front-End Fixes,” “Complementary Niche Services,” “Establishing and Maintaining Your Social Media Presence” and “Compounding Status Update and Industry Forecast.”

In conjunction with the meeting, NCPA is also offering pre-convention programming sessions. To give community pharmacists a pathway toward accreditation and billing for diabetes self-management education/training services, the “Diabetes Accreditation Standards — Practical Applications (DASPA)” program will be held Oct. 10 to 11. To improve a pharmacy’s front-end offerings to increase store traffic and sales, NCPA is offering the “Front-End Profit Building Seminar” on Oct. 11 (the Aug. 26 session is sold out). In addition, the “Opportunities in Compounding” session on Oct. 12 will cover enhancing a pharmacy’s compounding practice through nutrition and pain management offerings. Plus, “1-Year, 5-Year, 10-Year Plan? A Valuable Prep Course for Selling Your Pharmacy” to help community pharmacy owners plan ahead for retirement will be held on Oct. 12.

Individuals interested in attending the convention can register online at ncpanet.org or by calling (800) 544-7447.


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Revised bill on NPs’ scope of practice advances in Calif. Assembly

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — A narrower version of a bill that would expand nurse practitioners’ scope of practice, as well as a bill that would expand the role of pharmacists, advanced in a California Assembly this week.

Senate Bill 491 by Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, would establish independent practice for NPs, enabling them to perform all tasks and functions consistent with their education and training. Specifically, SB 491 would authorize NPs to practice to a fuller extent of their education and training, which includes diagnosing patients, performing therapeutic procedures, prescribing drugs and devices and making independent decisions in treating health conditions.

After failing to gain enough support in the Assembly’s Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee last week, Hernandez offered a water-down version of the bill.

The revised bill, which was passed by the Assembly on Tuesday, allows NPs to operate independently only in a hospital, clinic or other group setting. It removes a trail to independent practice without physician oversight after more than 6,000 hours of supervised practice.

The revision of the bill prompted The American Association of Nurse Practitioners to swing from support to opposition of the bill.

"The original legislation supported by AANP would have significantly improved healthcare delivery and increased access to care for millions of Californians by providing patients with full and direct access to nurse practitioner services. Unfortunately, recent amendments to SB 491 in the California Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee have dramatically changed the bill to a point where the state would not only retain the status quo, but impose added barriers to patients and the provider community,” stated AANP presidents Angela Golden and Kenneth Miller in a prepared statement.

"The amended bill would make it a crime for nurse practitioners to ‘supplant’ physicians and continue to require unnecessary oversight, negating workforce gains contained in the prior bill. These changes undermine the very heart of the legislation’s original objectives, creating additional, unnecessary regulatory roadblocks just as national health care reform is necessitating that the industry streamline care delivery models. California would remain one of the most restrictive states for nurse practitioners in the nation. For these reasons, AANP has no choice but to actively oppose the revised bill,” the statement continued.

Expressing its support of the original legislation, the California Association for Nurse Practitioners stated that up to 7 million more Californians will enter the healthcare system with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, putting significant pressure on an already strained delivery system. There are roughly 17,000 NPs licensed in California.

There are currently 17 states that allow NPs to practice at the full extent of their training and education with independent practice.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, proposed legislation that would grant NPs full practice authority also is pending in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, a bill in New Jersey would give NPs autonomy after two years of collaboration with a physician or other advanced-practice nurse.

Hernandez is also the author of SB 493, which expands the scope of service for pharmacists, including independently administering some vaccines and providing certain nicotine replacement drugs and hormonal contraceptives.

The bills now move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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Hispanic publication recognizes Kroger for top supplier diversity program

BY Jason Owen

CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. today announced it was named one of the nation’s 2013 "Best of the Best" by Hispanic Network Magazine for top supplier diversity programs for Hispanics.

"We are honored to be included in Hispanic Network Magazine‘s ‘Best of the Best’ list," said Reuben Shaffer, Kroger’s chief diversity officer. "Kroger’s commitment is to identify, create and develop sustainable business partnerships with minority-owned and women-owned businesses that support our growth and business objectives, and help us consistently meet the needs of our customers."

Hispanic Network Magazine surveyed hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies for its 2013 evaluations. This is Kroger’s first time making the "Best of the Best" list.

Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs 343,000 associates who serve customers in 2,419 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 784 convenience stores, 322 fine jewelry stores, 1,182 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the United States.


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