Legislative Win Formalizes Pharmacists’ Role as Providers in Medical Networks
‘Pharmacist Credentialing as Providers’ Legislation Passed by House and Senate!
The Tennessee Pharmacists Association is excited to announce that HB 0405 was passed unanimously by the Tennessee House of Representatives last night. The Senate companion bill, SB 0461, was passed by the Tennessee Senate on March 6, 2017. This legislation is now headed to Governor Haslam for his signature! TPA is extremely grateful to our many members for your ongoing grassroots advocacy in responding to our call to action regarding this initiative and TPA’s other legislative initiatives!
HB 0405 / SB 0461 is an important pro-patient, pro-pharmacist legislative initiative which will formally add “pharmacists” as providers of care in existing state insurance code and establish a pathway for pharmacists who are acting within the scope of their license or certification under state law to be credentialed with managed health insurance issuers. With this legislative change, managed health insurance issuers in Tennessee are prohibited from discriminating against pharmacists with respect to participation, receiving referrals, and being reimbursed for covered services which are within their scope of practice. Credentialing of pharmacists within medical provider networks through managed health insurance issuers also creates an infrastructure for pharmacists to participate as members of larger health care teams, thereby increasing communication, collaboration, and patient referrals to physicians and other health care providers for further assessment, management, and treatment.
TPA especially thanks Senators Mike Bell, Ferrell Haile, Rusty Crowe, and Doug Overbey, Representatives Bryan Terry, Cameron Sexton, Art Swann, Bill Dunn, and David Byrd, for their support and co-sponsorship of this legislation, and we thank all of our state legislators in Tennessee for formally recognizing the value of pharmacists and their role on the health care team through their support for this legislation.
We have seen a significant increase in the number of TPA members actively engaged in contacting their legislators, and the increase can be traced to our new web-based advocacy tool, the Tennessee Pharmacists Legislative Action Network (T-PLAN). T-PLAN simplifies the legislative contact process by 1) identifying your elected officials using your zip code, then 2) generating an email message to them asking for support, using a pre-written (but editable) sample letter specific to the legislative issue being considered. CLICK HERE to advocate for pharmacy and pharmacy patients!