Hermes Clutch Kelly
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"He very good at hearing people out, but when the conversation kind of wanders out into the weeds, he good at pulling them back to the topic at hand."
Eventually they worked it all out, though, and Gates helped keep the peace.
The industry worked collaboratively with doctors to address their concerns with various amendments. In time, the California Medical Association changed its stance from opposed to neutral.
But pharmacists had a few allies in the medical profession, including the California Association of Physician Groups, because overwhelmed doctors in physician groups often were already delegating some routine tasks to nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
The two started jotting down notes on a napkin. Those notes are what eventually became SB 493.
The pharmacists also agreed to more rigorous standards for a new category of pharmacists called advanced practice pharmacists.
Effective Jan. 1, they are legally recognized as health care providers, not just dispensers of medicine.
"Once we got to the capital, we really needed a pharmacist who could speak to what was happening in health care," said Dawn Benton, CEO of the California Society of Health System Pharmacists, or CSHP. "Through his living in Bakersfield, he was able to speak eloquently and knowledgeably about the problem of not having enough providers to meet the needs of patients and the work he done to try to meet that need.
The task Hermes Clutch Kelly force was unwieldy with about 20 members, each with different agendas. Community pharmacists who owned independent drug stores didn always agree with pharmacists at big retail chains, not to mention the pharmacists who worked for hospitals large and small.
Gates chaired the CSHP committee, and was also a member of the California Pharmacists Association committee then chaired by Sarah McBane, now the association president elect.
The California Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday held its first meeting on the details of implementing the new law, a process that expected to take at least a year.
Among the concessions was that pharmacists would be allowed to furnish certain drugs, but not prescribe them. The difference is they can give a patient medication they have on site, but they can write a prescription to be filled elsewhere.
"The law expanded access to insurance but didn do anything to add one single health care provider to provide care," Gates said. "Especially in areas like Kern County, we already didn have enough physicians, and now it was going to be even worse."
someone support in the future."
Local pharmacist a key force behind new landmark law
The task force found a sponsor in state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D West Covina, an optometrist also concerned about demand for health care outstripping supply.
Some pharmacists had already been providing clinical care. Vaccinations have been available at drug stores for years, for instance, but now for the first time pharmacists can directly bill insurers as health care providers.
Gates and McBane both believed it was silly for the organizations to work separately on the same issue, so they combined the committees into a joint task force they co chaired.
"Initially he may come across as a little bit quiet, at least he did to me," McBane said. "But I come to really appreciate his leadership skills.
also order and interpret tests related to a patient medication regimen.
Pharmacists in that organization had the same idea, so at one point there were two committees working on similar legislation.
But that expected to go smoothly. The real battle was won last year when Senate Bill 493, the Pharmacist Practice Act, passed both houses of the state legislature. It wasn an easy fight, and Gates played a major role in nudging the bill to victory.
"He always tells me it important to network because even if you don need anything now, you never know when you going to need Miu Miu Reading Glasses
2012, Gates was in Anaheim for a CSHP conference with fellow KMC pharmacist Matthew Dehner when the two got a bite to eat at an ESPN Zone and started talking shop.
President Obama had signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law two years earlier in 2010, and both were concerned about an anticipated surge in demand for health care.
For the last two years, Gates, 40, has been putting that skill to good use. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a landmark bill into law that dramatically redefined the role of pharmacists in California.
"At the first meeting, by about noon Sarah and I had lost all hope," Gates recalled, chuckling.
It was a long, meandering journey, though.
"He really was a key witness for us."
Gates testified in Sacramento three times and was involved in drafting the bill and lobbying for it from its infancy.
There are two big trade organizations for pharmacists in California. Along with the CSHP, there the California Pharmacists Association.
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