Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 1. Administration Generally
10/27/2021

§ 32.1-23.1. Alternative delivery of certain information; Commissioners to develop single application form for pharmaceutical assistance programs and pharmaceutical discount purchasing cards; certain analysis of access to The Pharmacy Connection program.

A. The Commissioner shall create links from the Virginia Department of Health's website to the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services' website and its affiliated sites pertaining to pharmaceutical assistance programs and pharmaceutical discount purchasing cards. The Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall cooperate with the Commissioner of Health by ensuring that such information is available on the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services' website.

B. The Commissioner shall ensure that all clinical sites administered by local health departments are provided with adequate information concerning the services of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, including, but not limited to, its toll-free telephone number and its website information on pharmaceutical assistance programs and pharmaceutical discount purchasing cards.

C. The Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall coordinate the dissemination of information to the public regarding any pharmaceutical discount purchasing card programs while maintaining a neutral posture regarding such programs.

In addition, with such funds as may be made available, the Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall disseminate information to the public concerning recent congressional actions relating to pharmaceutical benefits to be provided under the Medicare program and how such benefits may help senior citizens with the costs of pharmaceutical benefits.

D. The Commissioner shall establish a toll-free telephone number, to be administered by the Virginia Department of Health, which shall provide recorded information concerning services available from the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and other appropriate organizations for senior citizens.

E. The Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall develop a strategy, in coordination with the Virginia Association of Area Agencies on Aging and other private and nonprofit organizations, for disseminating information to the public concerning the availability of pharmaceutical assistance programs and for training senior citizen volunteers to assist in completing applications for pharmaceutical assistance programs and pharmaceutical discount purchasing cards.

F. In addition to the responsibilities set forth in subsections A through E, the Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall encourage pharmaceutical manufacturers to include application forms for pharmaceutical discount purchasing card programs on their respective websites in a format capable of being downloaded and printed by consumers. When practicable, the website maintained by the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall include direct links to such forms. Further, the Commissioner of Health and the Commissioner for Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall report to the Governor and General Assembly by October 30, 2004, on the feasibility of developing a single application form for Virginians to use to seek eligibility for the nearly 50 pharmaceutical assistance programs and pharmaceutical discount purchasing cards.

In determining feasibility, the Commissioners shall obtain copies of the application forms used by such pharmaceutical assistance programs and pharmaceutical discount purchasing cards in Virginia, compile a list of the various information required to complete such application forms, identify common elements, and analyze the forms for readability and simplicity. Upon completion of this analysis, the Commissioners shall assess the feasibility of designing a single, concise application form that is logically formatted, written in clear and easily comprehensible language, and covers any and all data that may be required to obtain eligibility for any such pharmaceutical assistance program or pharmaceutical discount purchasing card.

G. In order to maximize the benefits of the new Medicare pharmaceutical discount card program for Virginia's senior citizens, the Commissioner of Health shall annually for two years commencing on July 1, 2005, (i) analyze access to The Pharmacy Connection program vis-a-vis the Medicare pharmaceutical discount card program, the $600 transitional coverage provided under federal law, and pharmaceutical companies' offers of "wrap-around" coverage for low-income seniors; and (ii) recommend, to the Virginia Health Care Foundation, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, and the Governor, appropriate localities for expansion of access to The Pharmacy Connection program in Virginia, particularly in areas having high concentrations of low-income seniors. The goal of the Commissioner's analysis shall be to facilitate statewide implementation of The Pharmacy Connection program. The Commissioner shall complete this analysis by October 31 of each year and shall immediately request an estimate of the costs of the recommended expansion of such access from the Virginia Health Care Foundation to be forwarded to the Secretary and the Governor, for inclusion in the appropriation act, in so far as possible and appropriate to promote the health and safety of Virginia's senior citizens.

H. To assist them in completing the responsibilities set forth in subsections E, F, and G, the Commissioners may appoint an advisory task force of stakeholders.

2003, cc. 661, 674; 2004, cc. 73, 318; 2005, c. 715; 2012, cc. 803, 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.