Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper this week signed legislation, S.B. 135, which expands collaborative practice for licensed pharmacists and opens the door for health benefit plans to provide coverage for pharmacists’ services.
S.B. 135 allows pharmacists to enter into collaborative practice agreements with physicians and advanced practice nurses and grants licensed pharmacists the authority to provide healthcare services to patients under protocols delegated by a physician or advanced practice nurse. The law also authorizes pharmacists to provide care under a statewide drug therapy protocol developed by the boards of pharmacy, medicine, and nursing.
Although the law does not require health plans to pay for pharmacists’ services, pharmacists may be included in a benefit plan’s network of participating providers. Health plans must reimburse pharmacists in their provider networks for services that would be reimbursed if provided by a physician or advanced practice nurse.
The Colorado Pharmacists Society Academy of Health-System Pharmacists worked as a part of the Colorado Pharmacy Coalition on a task force led by the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy to build support for this legislation.
The new law will go into effect on August 1, 2016.