Pharmacists Gain Ground on Provider Status in North Dakota [ND]
Should the scope of practice for pharmacists be expanded like this? Are there real benefits from these kinds of potential efficiencies and more timely throughput? Are their any risks to patient safety? Is pharmacist training and education adequate to warrant this scope expansion?
Aren't these the exact same concerns heard from physicians about advanced practice providers (e.g., PAs, NPs, CRNAs, etc.)? Should APPs inherently be supportive towards pharmacists because of their own historical (and current) scope restriction plight in various states?
"'Having these bills pass helps promote pharmacists being an active member of health care teams and opens additional doors allowing pharmacists to expand their scope of practice,' Schwab told Pharmacy Times in an exclusive interview.
North Dakota's collaborative practice act has recognized pharmacists as health care providers, but one of the recent bills, S. 2173, allows for an expansion of pharmacists' roles. The law now permits pharmacists to enter into collaborative practice agreements with physicians—including pharmacists practicing outside of institutional settings, which is new. The bill also allows pharmacists to initiate and modify drug therapy.
Another bill Gov. Dalrymple signed was S. 2320, which created a medication therapy management (MTM) program for Medicaid-eligible patients in the medical and hospital benefits coverage group. The bill specifically names pharmacists as providers who may provide MTM services in person or via telephone and are entitled to reimbursement. This act will go into effect January, 1, 2016.
In addition, S. 2104 deems pharmacists as health care professionals, alongside physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses, while H.R. 1102, which deals with work-related injuries, also includes pharmacists as health care providers in its language."