On January 4, 2019, Governor John Kasich signed SB 265, which formally recognizes pharmacists as providers in Ohio. The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Matt Dolan, changed key provider definitions and insurance laws to catch up to the growing role of the pharmacist. SB 265 will help remove barriers that have prevented health plans, hospitals and healthcare teams from integrating and utilizing the expertise of the pharmacist.
This page is a central hub for information about the new law, as well as OPA's ongoing efforts to utilize it to elevate the role of the pharmacist, drive practice innovation, and improve patient access to pharmacist care in Ohio.
- CareSource launches pharmacist provider status pilot, August 2020
In August, OPA and CareSource announced a six-month pilot program reimbursing pharmacists for clinical services provided to Medicaid patients in Ohio. The Pharmacist Provider Status Pilot program includes two sites near Dayton, Ohio: an independent pharmacy in a rural community, Camden Village Pharmacy, and an inner-city independent pharmacy, ZIKS Pharmacy. Pharmacists involved in the pilot have collaborative practice agreements with physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants, and the pharmacists will focus on CareSource patients that they have identified as being at high-risk or in need of care for tobacco cessation, opioid management, diabetes, and/or asthma. The pharmacist provider status pilot adds to the Value-Based Reimbursement (VBR) opportunity, that CareSource released in January 2020. The VBR program is the first of its kind in the state and allows for pharmacies to achieve payment for increasing the quality of patient care outside of the traditional pharmacy benefits manager reimbursement model.
- Buckeye Health Plan launches new program that expands pharmacist’s role in patient care, June 2020
In June, OPA joined Buckeye Health Plan in announcing the launch of the first phase of a new program that expands the role of pharmacists in direct patient care to improve the health outcomes of people living with chronic diseases, especially for Ohio’s most vulnerable populations. Through the program – which seeks to utilize recent OPA-backed law changes in Ohio that elevate the role of the pharmacist – physicians and participating pharmacists will work closely with patients living with chronic conditions like diabetes, depression and cardiovascular disease. The pharmacists will provide consultation, monitor medication and adjust as needed, demonstrate medical equipment, order lab tests, and provide preventative care including vaccinations.
Provider Status Implementation Update, June 2020
Early in April, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Community Plan of Ohio announced the launch of their Pharmacy Care Extension program. This exciting development has directly resulted from the passage of Ohio’s SB 265 legislation, recognizing pharmacists as healthcare providers. In the first phase, the managed care organization has chosen two pharmacies in northeast Ohio to pioneer this program. UHC Medicaid patients will now be able to have extended opportunities to meet and consult with their pharmacist. Pharmacists will be reimbursed for the time spent managing chronic conditions, conducting transitions of care visits, and interprofessional consults with other healthcare providers. Services provided include adherence checks, medication reconciliations, new medication counseling, disease state management, and transitions of care management
- Pharmacists tapped by UnitedHealthcare to expand access to care and help improve health outcomes in Ohio, April 2020
In the first significant move to deploy pharmacists in new ways, UnitedHealthcare – the largest private payer of healthcare in the world – announced the launch of their new, first-of-its-kind Pharmacy Care Extension program, utilizing two independent pharmacies in northeast Ohio to expand patient access to care, relieve pressure on health systems, and help drive better health outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries.
- Provider status implementation update, February 2020
Hello fellow pharmacists. I want to take this opportunity to update you on what is happening with pharmacist provider status in Ohio. For a quick recap, SB 265 was signed into law in January 2019, updating all Ohio Revised Code to include pharmacists as a provider any place that health care provider is listed. Having this change in the law is the first step; the next step is to actually get payors to recognize pharmacists as providers within their networks to reimburse for clinical services.
- OPA launches new pharmacy practice transformation initiative, November 2019
OPA has announced the launch of a new initiative aimed at expanding patient access to pharmacist services across the state. The effort seeks to utilize the new state "provider status" law that aims to better integrate pharmacists onto healthcare teams to improve patient outcomes. OPA and lawmakers have made great strides in evolving the role of pharmacists in recent years, but the previous legal barriers in the insurance code prevented many institutions from deploying pharmacists in more elevated, clinical roles that reflect their extensive education and training. While several states across the country have passed similar “provider status” laws for pharmacists, in most instances, uptake in the market has typically fallen short. To be sure that this same fate does not occur in Ohio, OPA has partnered with Ohio’s colleges of pharmacy, added resources, and hired several new staff members to work with pharmacies, health insurance plans, and state Medicaid officials to begin integrating pharmacists into the care delivery system.
Program Launch Reactions | Pharmacist Provider Status Log | Episode 2
Meet the Pharmacies | Pharmacist Provider Status Log | Episode 1
Launching: The Provider Status Log
Introduction to Ohio Provider Status
Records: Ohio Medicaid leaders showed little enthusiasm to support coronavirus testing at pharmacies - Ohio Capital Journal, 8/4/2020
Ohio Medicaid starts paying pharmacists for COVID-19 testing & pilots focus on direct care from pharmacists - BMD, 7/2/2020
Ohio Medicaid begins laying out plans for coronavirus testing at pharmacies - Ohio Capital Journal, 7/1/2020
Despite promises, Medicaid still not paying pharmacists to test for coronavirus - Ohio Capital Journal, 6/29/2020
Program expanding role of pharmacists launches in Cincinnati - Cincinnati Business Courier, 6/25/2020
State hasn’t acted, but Medicaid care companies move to pay pharmacists for medical services - Ohio Capital Journal, 6/24/2020
After months of questions, Ohio Medicaid to start paying pharmacists for coronavirus testing - Ohio Capital Journal, 6/15/2020
Amid other challenges, Medicaid department conducting massive overhaul - Ohio Capital Journal, 6/11/2020
Senate president, other lawmakers demand Ohio pharmacists be paid for coronavirus testing - Columbus Dispatch, 6/5/2020
Ohio Medicaid undermines governor’s plan to expand coronavirus testing to local pharmacies - Columbus Dispatch, 6/4/2020
Governor says pharmacists should test for COVID-19, but Ohio Medicaid won’t clear the way for them to be paid - Ohio Capital Journal, 6/1/2020
UnitedHealthcare working to re-make care model at Ohio’s community pharmacies amid coronavirus - Columbus Dispatch, 4/13/2020
Pharmacists called to do more as Ohio hospitals need more staff to battle coronavirus - WSYX 6 Columbus, 3/30/2020
April Marks Start of Provider Status for Ohio Pharmacists - American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 3/19/2019
- Ohio Pharmacy Services Survey
OPA is gathering information to build a snapshot of services pharmacists provide across the state. Relevant information may be shared to health plans or state officials as OPA discusses provider status implementation. Start engaging with provider status by participating in the Ohio Pharmacy Services Survey.
- OPA Provider Status Background Information
OPA has created this presentation to help assist you with community outreach or education of pharmacists on provider status. The presentation is here to help you present on background information regarding provider status.