Other Legislation

NP “Clean-up” bill – CMA Supports, AB 852 Now Relates to Dispensing – Follow Up 

We reported last week that the old version of AB 852 (Wood) – a holdover from 2021, or “two-year bill ) would have added the new category of nurse practitioners who are authorized to practice independently starting January 1, 2023, to provisions of law that include physician and surgeons and other relevant health care licensees, corrected a drafting error from AB 890 (Wood) related to the conditions when an independent NP must refer to a physician and surgeon, added the new independent NPs to pharmacy definitions for prescribers, and makes other technical and clarifying changes, but that the new, significantly amended version of AB 852 would prohibit a pharmacy, pharmacist, or other practitioner authorized to dispense or furnish a prescription from refusing to dispense or furnish an electronic prescription solely because the prescription was not submitted via, or is not compatible with, their proprietary software. The bill would authorize a pharmacy, pharmacist, or other authorized practitioner to decline to dispense or furnish an electronic prescription submitted via software that fails to meet any one of specified criteria, including compliance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The bill would establish additional exceptions to the requirement that health care practitioners issue a prescription as an electronic data transmission prescription, including for a prescriber who registers with the California State Board of Pharmacy and states that they satisfy one or more criteria, including that they issue 100 or fewer prescriptions per calendar year. The bill would make specified exceptions to the requirement for a pharmacy to immediately transfer an electronic prescription to an alternative pharmacy upon request of the patient, including if the action would result in a violation of any state or federal law.

Last night, the CSAP Government Affairs Committee (GAC) recommended to the Board, and the Board concurred, that it is time for CSAP to remove its opposition to AB 852 and switch to a Watch position. Hopefully one scope battle averted this year; we’ll see for sure in August.