New law recognizes Washington pharmacists as medical providers

By Regence | December 13, 2016

If you are under a doctor’s care for management of a chronic illness, you now have another resource to help with your care.

Washington consumers may consult with pharmacists on some medical services under Washington Senate Bill 5557. Previously, this law was restricted to select pharmacists who work at facilities with whom Regence has network contracts. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, the law expands to include pharmacists in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and community pharmacies such as Walgreens or your neighborhood pharmacy.

The new law allows pharmacists to provide some medical services already covered within your medical insurance benefit. In those instances, the pharmacist might ask for your medical insurance card and submit a bill for these services like other health care providers. This means you could be subject to a copay or coinsurance.

This doesn’t mean that any conversation with your pharmacist will result in a separate bill. Talking with your pharmacist about a prescription or the routine dispensing of medication is covered as part of your pharmacy benefit. However, pharmacists providing covered medical services such as immunizations, tobacco cessation counseling or who work with your doctor or other providers to help you manage a chronic illness, like asthma, could bill for those services. Keep in mind, in order for pharmacists to bill for these services, they must be enrolled in the Regence Participating or Regence Preferred Provider Networks.

If you have questions about your bill, call Member Services at the number on the back of your member ID card.


Recent posts

Workforce Map

Propelling growth - Regence's economic impact in 2016

By Regence
August 08, 2017
Regence is excited to announce that it has retained the services of ECONorthwest, an independent economic consulting firm, to assess the effects our operations and employees have on the Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah economies.

Hood to Coast Washington 2017: Teamwork, community and values

By Regence
July 06, 2017
This blog is a guest post from Leslie Constans, a Regence employee and relay team member in the innaugural Hood to Coast Washington 2017. Leslie shares her reflections on the race, the local communities, and the teamwork that the race inspired.

It starts with a hug: Regence and Mary's Place

By Regence
June 05, 2017
Regence supports Mary’s Place—a day center and family shelter that helps homeless women, children, and families get back on their feet and find their forever home.