Ohio moves to expand pharmacist services after gaining provider status

The Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) recently launched a new initiative to expand pharmacist services across the state. The effort comes on the heels of SB 265, a new state law signed by former Gov. John Kasich in April 2019 that formally recognized pharmacists as providers throughout the state insurance code.

Several states across the nation have granted provider status to pharmacists, but implementation has often stalled, leaving many to wonder what comes next.

OPA’s new initiative addresses these concerns by partnering with Ohio’s colleges of pharmacy, adding resources, and hiring new staff members to work with pharmacies, health insurance plans, and state Medicaid officials. OPA has also assembled a task force of pharmacy leaders representing different regions and practice expertise throughout Ohio.

The group will help guide the association’s efforts to better integrate pharmacists into health care teams. It will work with payers to identify gaps in care that pharmacists can fill, educate the public on the value of pharmacist-provided services, and train pharmacists on how to incorporate these new services into their practice models.

“Provider status is the next step for pharmacists to grow in an evolving health care system,” said OPA President Brigid Groves, PharmD, MS, in a statement. “We are excited about the pharmacist-provided patient care services that will be leveraged for patients across the state through this initiative. Working together with the Ohio colleges of pharmacy and other pharmacist leaders in the state will allow Ohio pharmacists to move quality care forward.”