New Mexico and West Virginia make progress on provider status

On March 6, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation expanding pharmacists’ provider status recognition in New Mexico. The passing of HB 42, also known as Pharmaceutical Service Reimbursement Parity, marks a promising sign of success for states’ efforts to gain provider status.

HB 42, introduced by Rep. Deborah A. Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), mandates that health plans reimburse pharmacist clinicians for clinical and prescriptive services they are already authorized to provide within New Mexico’s scope of pharmacy practice. Pharmacist clinicians would be compensated at the same rate as other providers performing those services.

Prior to the bill’s passing, APhA signed on to a letter in support of the legislation, stating that the bill will expand access to health care services in New Mexico, especially among rural and medically underserved communities. The move will also reduce overall health care costs and allow the state to be a leader in developing sustainable business models that support pharmacists practicing at the top of their profession.

West Virginia’s state Senate and House of Delegates also recently passed its own provider status bill, SB 787. If signed by Gov. Jim Justice, the bill would require health plans to reimburse pharmacists for services that already fall within their scope of practice and are normally covered when performed by other providers.

APhA signed onto its own letter and a joint pharmacy letter supporting the bill. The West Virginia governor has up to March 22 to sign the bill into law.