(a) The department of public health and the board of pharmacy shall jointly develop a pilot program to allow urology providers in private practice to operate specialty practice pharmacies in an effort to expand patient access to medications for urological conditions.
(b) The department of public health, in consultation with the board of pharmacy, shall determine the criteria for participation in the program, including the number of practices that may participate; provided that a practice must accept MassHealth patients to qualify for participation in the program. The department may conduct a listening session or other public process to receive input from interested parties regarding the criteria and other aspects of the program.
(c) Each specialty practice pharmacy program shall be operated by a urology practice and shall be staffed as needed to provide appropriate high-quality care, under protocols for pharmaceutical services, specific medications to be offered, and staffing requirements to be developed by the department of public health and the board of pharmacy.
(d) The department of public health shall issue a request for proposals for qualified urology practices to submit proposals to become a provider of pharmaceutical services under this section; provided, that proposals must be submitted and providers selected within 6 months of the date of enactment of this act. In selecting participants for the program, the department and the board of pharmacy shall consider each applicant’s patient payer mix, patient population demographics, organization structure and size, and region of service, in an effort to promote more direct and equitable access to urological medication in underserved populations. The department and the board should prioritize applicants that can provide high quality pharmaceutical services and that address barriers that contribute to inequities in urological pharmaceutical care, including among gender, race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, social stigma and other social determinants of health.
(e) The pilot program shall be conducted for 2 years. Before the completion of 2 years of operation, the department of public health and the board of pharmacy shall evaluate the results of the pilot as they relate to patient access to medication, patient costs, patient adherence to medication, and additional pharmaceutical indicators. The results of the evaluation shall be provided to the joint committee on public health and posted on the website of the department. The department and the board may renew the pilot program for a second 2-year period if they determine, based on the evaluation, that it is in the public interest to continue the program.
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