Oregon is used to having trailblazers on the basketball court—and now Oregon pharmacists are trailblazers, too, by expanding patient access to pharmacists’ care services! Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law landmark legislation that establishes provider status for Oregon pharmacists, allowing them to be paid for clinical services.
With this win, the West Coast is on a roll! California, Washington, and now Oregon have all passed groundbreaking provider status–related laws for pharmacists. I have no doubt we will continue to see advancements at the state level, and look forward to cheering on the next big win.
Oregon’s new law also expands existing laws related to collaborative drug therapy management, among other important wins. Big congratulations are in order for the Oregon State Pharmacy Association (OSPA), who worked for more than 4 years with stakeholders and legislators across the state to get this legislation passed and turned into law!
The new law in Oregon “permits health insurers to provide payment or reimbursement for services provided by pharmacist[s] through [the] practice of clinical pharmacy or pursuant to statewide drug therapy management protocol.”
So what does that mean in nonlegal language? It means the specialized education and training that pharmacists can bring to the health care team is being recognized, and Oregon pharmacists will be able to use their skills to improve health outcomes for more patients.
As exciting things happen at the state level, APhA continues to push for provider status legislation at the federal level. The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act was introduced in both the U.S. House (H.R. 592) and U.S. Senate (S. 314) earlier this year. Today, there are 145 bipartisan cosponsors of the House bill and 19 cosponsors of the Senate bill.
Let’s continue to push for patient access to pharmacists’ patient care services at the state and national levels. If you are not already a member of the Pharmacists Provide Care campaign, or have not sent a letter to your Members of Congress urging them to support the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, please go to PharmacistsProvideCare.com.
Congratulations again to Oregon pharmacists and the OSPA team! Your efforts will help blaze a trail for all future pharmacists!