May 21, 2020
Clarification from HHS regarding Pharmacists’ COVID-19 Testing 
COVID-19 Nasal swab laboratory test in hospital lab
The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an  advisory opinion yesterday concluding that licensed pharmacists may order and administer COVID-19 tests even in states that prohibit licensed pharmacists from ordering and administering these tests. This confirms the Administration’s intent and confidence in pharmacists to provide expanded and widespread testing capacity for Americans across the entire country.

This opinion is in response to several national and state pharmacy associations concerns regarding the ambiguity of the original HHS announcement of April 8, 2020.

The issuance of the opinion has clarified that states or jurisdictions cannot prohibit pharmacists from ordering and administering the test. The HHS ruling supersedes any State rules and regulations and clarifies the scope of pharmacists’ testing authority.

MPA is still evaluating the opinion and this clarification can assist us with discussions that we have had with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and other payors related to pharmacist payment and billing for COVID-19 tests. 

Be on the look-out for additional information from MPA regarding billing and reimbursement for testing, supplies and other COVID related concerns in the upcoming weeks.
Gov. Whitmer issues Executive Order 2020-93
The Governor signed Executive Order (EO) 2020-93 extending the MPA influenced Executive Order 2020-56. The EO allows pharmacists to provide emergency refills, substitute therapeutically equivalent drugs, and provide COVID related testing to patients. The new Executive Order is in effect until June 16, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
Governor’s New Michigan’s Work Share Program
Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours - while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Employers can also retain their current workforce and are given the flexibility to choose which of their employees are part of a Work Share plan.
FDA-CDER COVID-19 Critical Care Drug Monitoring Survey Portal
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a vital role in helping to address the COVID-19 pandemic and recognizes the critical role of health-systems. Currently, FDA is working to identify critical care drugs essential for the care and management of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, particularly for those managed in the intensive care units. 

Input from health-systems help to identify drugs that may be at risk of a regional or national shortage. The FDA is requesting health-systems to complete a brief survey on a  weekly basis . The information will be used to help ensure these drugs remain available to meet the needs of your state and our nation.  
Free Online Access to MPA’s COVID-19 Virtual Town Halls
If you weren’t able to attend MPA’s special Town Hall webinars but are interested in the discussion topics, the webinars were recorded and available free online as part of our COVID-19 resources found on the MPA website. 
April 27, 2020 - General COVID-19 Update
May 11, 2020 - Discussion with LARA
May 17, 2020 - Legislative Update
Due to the Memorial Day Holiday MPA will NOT be holding a COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall on Monday May 25, 2020. The next Town Hall will be held June 15, 2020, and will feature the Senate Majority Leader, Mike Shirkey of Clarklake.
PARTICIPATION REQUESTED - 2020 Economic Survey
Each year, the MPA conducts an economic survey of pharmacy professionals in the state to evaluate salaries and benefits received as well as other practice issues. Please take a few minutes to anonymously add your responses which will help provide pharmacy professionals and employers with valuable salary and benefit information.

Survey responses must be received no later than Monday, June 15, 2020. The results of the 2020 Michigan Pharmacy Economic Survey will be published and available to MPA members in the July issue of the  Michigan Pharmacist  journal. Nonmembers who provide their email address will be provided with a summary of survey results.
Questions? Contact MPA at (517) 484-1466 or  MPA@MichiganPharmacists.org .

Win a Prize! Those who complete the survey in its entirety by the June deadline will be entered into a prize drawing for a second prize, $20 amazon gift card. The drawing will occur on June 17, 2020, and the winner will be announced on MPA social media channels.