NCPDP conference preview: D.0, PBMs and HIE, oh my!


The Emdeon team always looks forward to the NCPDP Annual Conference. The 2012 version is coming up in early May at the Arizona Biltmore. As expected, NCPDP has done an excellent job in scheduling a large number of important and interesting topics. Emdeon’s Lathe Bigler will be discussing the impact of  health information exchanges (HIEs) and accountable care organizations (ACOs) on our industry, and I am scheduled to talk about the industry’s observations and lessons learned regarding the implementation of D.0.

Additionally there will be other great subjects covered:

  • What is “ePrior Authorization” all about? How does this emerging standard affect the interaction between pharmacy, physicians and plans? This is a timely topic as several states have introduced legislation that specifies “point of care” prior authorization language.

  • How will the new pricing benchmarks taking place in the pharmaceutical industry, such as AAC and NADAC, impact AMP and the pharmacy industry?

  • How can the industry adapt to the changing landscape within the PBM marketplace? A legal viewpoint will be delivered helping us understand what laws were passed in 2011 and where we may be headed for 2012.

  • How is the industry adapting to Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS)? As we continue to implement these new protocols, a real world perspective will be given. How are we doing in moving to the DEA’s Interim Final Rule passed in 2010?

  • What potential benefits exist for the pharmacy industry in the emerging state-HIE marketplace across the United States? As a whole, how will the pharmacy industry adapt as healthcare sectors across the marketplace continue to automate as a result of HITECH?

  • How will meaningful use impact pharmacy? CMS has issued $3.8 billion in incentive payments to eligible prescribers and hospitals. But how does meaningful use relate to HIE? And what does HIE have to do with pharmacy? We know for instance that pharmacy is not eligible for meaningful use incentive payments. However, this doesn’t mean pharmacy has no role to play within HIE or meaningful use. There will be a webinar bringing all of this together and helping pharmacy better understand its important role in supporting interoperability and access to information across the healthcare system.  

The above examples are only a sampling of the important topics being covered next month at the annual NCPDP conference. This is both an exciting and challenging time within our industry. Stay tuned as we look forward to the reviews and commentary from this event which takes place May 6 to 12. Better yet, I encourage you to attend this important industry event. It is an informational, fun and important conference attended by pharmacy leaders throughout the industry. Social events, such as receptions and especially the closing night theme party, are scattered throughout the schedule, giving you time to network and unwind all at the same time.

We continue to advocate for membership and active participation in NCPDP as it affects our business in so very many positive ways. We believe that through collaboration and commitment to a quality healthcare system,  it has and will continue to live up to its mission, which in part states “provides a forum wherein our diverse membership can develop business solutions” that effect our industry. For more information on the conference, click here.


Paul Hooper

VP of pharmacy network services

Paul Hooper directs Emdeon's pharmacy network services initiatives with a focus on developing programs, standards and partnerships that increase pharmacy efficiency and reduce healthcare costs. 

Paul has spent more than 25 years in the healthcare industry with a predominant focus in pharmacy. During this time, he has held roles in product development, systems, finance and operations at various recognized industry leaders: BASF, Abbott Laboratories, Cardinal Health, ArcLight and Emdeon. 

He holds a master's degree in business administration from Ohio University and a bachelor of science in food science from Pennsylvania State University.


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