Expert: What to Expect From AMCP Nexus 2023

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Jennifer Mathieu, MA from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) discusses what to expect from AMCP Nexus 2023 and some of the sessions she is looking forward to.

Jennifer Mathieu, MA from the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) discusses what to expect from AMCP Nexus 2023 and some of the sessions she is looking forward to.

Q: What can attendees look forward to at AMCP Nexus 2023?

Jennifer Mathieu: To start from the top, I think one thing that's very exciting that this is the first time that we're devoting so much time and space to this. On Monday the 16th, we're going to be having a preconference on the Inflation Reduction Act [(IRA)]. It's going to run for the entire afternoon on Monday, and it'll be kicked off by our board president, Jim Hopsicker. We're going to hear from a multidisciplinary panel, covering all of the stakeholder perspectives that are impacted by [IRA]. We're going to hear from pharmaceutical manufacturers, we're going to hear from health plans, we're going to hear from PBMs, we're going to hear from the academics; everyone who's been involved in understanding IRA, this huge piece of legislation, what it is, what it means for health care, how the drug negotiation program is going to impact pharmaceutical manufacturers, [and] how the Part D reforms are going to impact payers and PBMs. We’re going to have that multidisciplinary panel start, [and] we're going to divide into 2 separate tracks; pharmaceutical manufacturers are going to get to hear information specific to them, and our payers, our health plans, and our PBMs are going to get to hear information that's specific to them.

Then we'll bring it back together to close with that same multidisciplinary panel. I'll actually be doing the level setting overview of [IRA] to take the afternoon off after our board president does his welcome remarks. We're really excited about just the participation, the number of attendees we have [and] the speaker panels that we have. We're just really excited to be able to dive into this topic so thoroughly. We also feel that we're in a unique position at AMCP because our members work for all of the stakeholders who are impacted by this law and its implementations.

Q: What do you hope attendees take away from "Understanding the Fundamentals of IRA and Its Impact," the preconference session you're involved in?

Jennifer Mathieu: Our intent with the preconference on Monday really is an educational opportunity for our members. We expect to have attendees who have little to no knowledge of IRA all the way up to living, breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, IRA in their daily jobs. We're trying to touch on all of those different levels of knowledge and awareness, but I think what's going to be most impactful for attendees is those expert panels. We are bringing in experts who are living, breathing, eating, sleeping, drinking, [IRA] every single day, every minute. We're bringing in those experts from the manufacturers from the plans and PBMS, from academia. We're really hoping to generate good conversation among the participants, as well as a lot of just really great learning opportunities for our attendees.

Q: What is your federal legislative and regulatory update session going to cover?

Jennifer Mathieu: The federal legislative and regulatory session kicks off our first day of education sessions on Tuesday. We're going to be starting right at 8:30 in the morning, and I'm going to be covering the federal legislative topics of the day. I'll spend some time talking about AMCP’s primary legislative priorities, including the access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act, the Medicaid VBPs, or value-based agreements, Act, [Medicaid VBPs for Patients] MVP Act. I will also be talking about the hot topics of the day. There are a number of pieces of PBM reform legislation that are out there, so I will be addressing those. I'll be talking about all of the other pieces of legislation that are percolating as we approach the end of the year, including the mental health bill. Obviously, we'll have to talk about some of the things that are happening in Congress, both from a government funding perspective as well as from a speaker election perspective, as that's going to impact how these bills both AMCP’s priority bills, and the bills that are going to be impactful to manage care pharmacy, that's going to be impacted by what's happening in Congress.

Then my colleague, Geni Tunstall, our director of Regulatory Affairs, is going to be getting into the meat on all of the regulatory issues. Of course, she's going to talk about IRA, that's probably the biggest thing that's happening from a regulatory perspective right now. There are tons of other comments, opportunities, and proposed rules that we're engaging on from mental health to those addressing health disparities and health equity, as well as some of the more standard regulations that one can expect in the Medicare environment and in the Medicaid environment. She'll be addressing all of those and sharing the absolute, latest, and greatest up-to-the-minute news on all of them with our attendees.

Q: What other sessions are you most excited to attend?

Jennifer Mathieu: There area couple, actually. There is a session that is also on Tuesday, the 17th, I believe, it starts at 10:15. It is all around evaluating coverage for digital therapeutics. As I mentioned earlier, a big priority for AMCP is the access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act. This particular session is going to be presented by individuals from Massachusetts Medicaid, and it will be talking about the positive data that they've collected and studied from a number of patient cohorts that have undergone substance and opioid use disorder therapies, via prescription digital therapeutics, so they have some really compelling data. This is the first time that it's going to be presented on such a wide public scale. I'm really excited for that session.

Unfortunately, also at 10:15, on Tuesday, we are also going to have a session that's all about a really deep dive into the PBM reform legislation, and I think that's pretty top of mind for all of our health plan and PBM members. Unfortunately, they're competing sessions, I still haven't decided which way I'm going to go, I might have to separate divide my time and/or divide and conquer between the Government Affairs team at AMCP. But I'm really excited for both of those.

I also mentioned earlier the opening general session with Neil Pasricha. He's the Pied Piper of happiness. He has had some really interesting life experiences that have impacted his outlook on the world and on his day to day, and he's going to allow our members, allow our attendees, to kind of take an hour-long reprieve from the daily toil of the health care industry, and just the day to day and really [to] hear some inspirational stories, as well as some tried and true tricks on how to be a happier individual. I'm really excited about that.

Then, on Wednesday, my colleagues in the Government Affairs department at 9:45, on the 18th, Wednesday, they're going to be presenting the state legislative and regulatory update. Similar to the federal, it's going to cover all the hot topics around managed care tools and strategies, obviously, the state level PBM reform legislation that's out there and being proposed but there's also legislation on prior authorizations [and] step therapy. My colleagues, Adam Colborn, our director of Government Affairs, and Tom Casey, our senior manager of Government Affairs, are going to be presenting both the legislative and regulatory perspectives at the state level on Wednesday, so also very excited about that.

Later that afternoon, there's going to be a general session for those attendees who are not able to participate in the preconference on [IRA]. There is going to be an education session at 2:45 on Wednesday, the 18th, all about the road ahead, and what's to be expected with [IRA]. So even if attendees aren't able to attend early on Monday for the [preconference], they will get a really solid session on [IRA]. Then, like I mentioned, there's 2 keynotes on Thursday morning, the 19th. One is all about understanding the 340B program, and the other is on specialty pharmacy. I think both of those keynote sessions on Thursday are going to be really informative, and our attendees are really going to glean a lot of great information from both.

Q: Outside of the sessions, what else can attendees look forward to experiencing at AMCP Nexus 2023?

There's a couple of really great networking opportunities, and I'd be remiss if I didn't call a couple of them out. Early morning on Tuesday, the 17th at 7:00, we are having our welcome breakfast for our brand new AMCP members and first-time attendees to Nexus. This is always such a pinnacle event to kick off Nexus and our entire board of directors will be in attendance. They all get an opportunity to share their story, how they came to AMCP, and some of the benefits, the relationships, the friendships that they've found through their membership at AMCP as well as attendance at Nexus, so I really encourage all participants who maybe it's their first time and they want to get the lay of the land, or they want to meet some buddies, to spend some time with. I really, really cannot recommend [it] enough [to] the first timers and new members’ breakfast.

Then in the afternoon and evening on Tuesday, the 17th, we have our very large opening reception at our exhibit hall. I do really encourage all attendees to come out, enjoy some food, enjoy some drinks, everybody will be there who's in attendance. It's a great opportunity to learn about various vendors and their offerings, but it's also a really great opportunity to kind of just relax after the first day and get some swag and enjoy some food and drink. Then the last thing I'll kind of plug is on Wednesday evening, our president Jim Hopsicker, does host a reception. It's invitation only, but it is a really great event to kind of cap off the week and to celebrate our board of directors, our president, and some of our award winners. So really looking forward to that as well.

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