Governor Approves Pharmacist Provider Status in Ohio

When the Ohio Pharmacists Association announced that legislation to formally recognize pharmacists as providers in Ohio had been signed by Governor John Kasich on January 7, Jaclyn Boyle, Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, was recognized among a list of pharmacists and other proponents of the legislature who delivered testimony over the past year.

Dr. Boyle offered her thoughts on the impact of the SB 265 legislation, which will take effect 91 days after it is filed with the Secretary of State’s office, according to the OPA.

How do you think  this new legislation could change health care for patients? 

Having provider status at the state level means several things for patients and the health care system as a whole. Access to pharmacist-provided care helps expand the patient care team. It provides higher quality of care at a lower cost. For pharmacists, this means that barriers to creating financially sustainable models of care can be minimized; in the past, because pharmacists were not recognized as providers, we could not receive reimbursement for any cognitive-based services that are provided to patients. Now, with an option to provide reimbursement for cognitive services, more patients than ever will be able to receive personalized care from a pharmacist. (The term “cognitive services” means providing care that requires clinical judgement.)

While increased reimbursement sounds like a detriment, a myriad of studies have been published that demonstrate improved clinical, humanistic and financial outcomes result from adding a pharmacist to the patient care team. 

How could the new law change the outlook for students? 

Having provider status can open up many opportunities for future pharmacists. Perhaps the biggest growth will be in the ambulatory care sector – caring  for patients outside of the inpatient setting. Models of care that aren't even imagined yet could come about. Additionally, with telehealth and innovative practice model development, opportunities for interprofessional collaboration will be more available than ever before. Justifying the establishment and/or expansion of pharmacy services will be much easier for those in administrative roles or pharmacists who have an entrepreneurial mindset. The possibilities are endless! 

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