Pharmacist provider status now law in Oregon

Pharmacists can be paid for clinical services; law follows years of collaboration among state association, stakeholders

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon has signed into law HB 2028, which establishes provider status for Oregon pharmacists. The Oregon State Pharmacy Association (OSPA) and the Oregon Society of Health-System Pharmacists are set to announce the new law. HB 2028 went into effect immediately upon passage.

The Oregon provider status law clarifies that pharmacists can be paid for clinical services, expands existing laws related to collaborative drug therapy management (referred to as clinical pharmacy agreements in the legislation), and authorizes the Oregon Health Authority to work with the state Board of Pharmacy to establish statewide protocols, primarily for postdiagnostic clinical services such as smoking cessation and travel medicine, according to Gary DeLander, BSPharm, PhD, OSPA President.

“This is a great step forward for the profession,” DeLander told Pharmacy Today in an e-mail today. He is Executive Associate Dean and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences for the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy.

HB 2028 “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,” according to the law’s official language.

Under Oregon’s law, the services pharmacists can provide are wide open.

DeLander said there was an intentional effort to not include specific language in statute regarding the definition of clinical services because statutory language is hard to ever change. This also goes for requirements in statute for additional qualifications or education for pharmacists, so that all pharmacists can participate. If appropriate or needed, any additional educational requirements will be defined by the payer or within the protocols.

Both private and public health insurers in Oregon can reimburse pharmacists for the clinical services they provide under the new law.

“This is the culmination of more than 4 years of work with a variety of stakeholders, and we are very excited that Oregon pharmacists will now have the opportunity to more fully utilize their expertise to increase access to quality, cost-effective health care across the state,” said DeLander.

Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland), BSPharm, PhD, Chair of the House Health Care Committee, and Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland) championed the legislation. 

The Oregon version of provider status completes a West Coast block of states with provider status—California, and more recently Washington state, have groundbreaking provider status laws in place for pharmacists. 

Updated June 18, 2015

Updated June 19, 2015

Corrected July 28, 2015