WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University
WSU Insider
News and Information for Faculty, Staff, and the WSU Community

New law: Insurers must treat pharmacists as other providers


By Lori Maricle, College of Pharmacy

SPOKANE, Wash – The Washington State University College of Pharmacy celebrated Monday as Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law requiring health insurance carriers to recognize pharmacists in the same way as other providers such as physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

ESSB 5557 will go into effect by January 2017.

“This law doesn’t change the pharmacist’s scope of practice,” said a Washington State Pharmacy Association statement. “It allows pharmacists to apply to participate in health plans and be treated the same as other providers.”

Julie Akers

“We believe that utilizing pharmacists’ training and expertise at the fullest extent of licensure improves patient outcomes and reduces overall costs to the healthcare system,” said Julie Akers, a clinical assistant professor at the WSU College of Pharmacy. “ESSB 5557 opens doors that will allow pharmacists to be integral members of the patient care team alongside the primary care provider.”

“We are looking forward to the additional opportunities that will be available to our graduates in the state of Washington as a result of this legislation,” said Gary Pollack, dean of the college.

While commercial health plans have recognized pharmacists for dispensing medications, they routinely have refused to include pharmacists in their participating provider networks.

Jennifer Robinson

Akers and WSU pharmacy faculty colleague Jennifer Robinson have been involved in the statewide discussion to determine what infrastructure, processes and guidelines will be needed for pharmacists to obtain the credentials required by insurance companies to receive reimbursements.

The new law was sponsored by Sen. Linda Parlette.



Next Story

Recent News

WSU Core-to-Career program announces members of third cohort

Twenty-one Washington State University faculty have been named as the newest members of the Core-to-Career professional development program that impacts undergradutes’ career readiness.

Sharing American political and judicial expertise overseas

Recipient of a Fulbright Senior Specialist award for a three-week visit to Slovakia, WSU’s Cornell Clayton held a series of lectures for graduate and undergraduate students focusing on contemporary American politics.

College of Education appoints Eric Johnson as associate dean

Eric Johnson, an English language learners professor, will begin his two-year term on Aug. 16 and will focus heavily on faculty and staff professional development aimed at fostering an inclusive and equitable educational environment within the college.

WSU lab joins network identifying new pathogens

As part of the $1.7 billion Pathogen Genomics Center of Excellence, the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory will play a key role preventing the spread of disease-causing pathogens, including new COVID-19 variants.

Find More News

Subscribe for more updates