The new Ohio legislature is in session, and they are moving FAST on pharmacy issues. First, the Governor spoke to creating a prescription discount card for senior citizens to be run through the Golden Buckeye program, and administered through the Department of Aging. Apparently, their thought is to create a program
similar to Savewell and other discount programs, and, possibly, to create a mail order option for senior citizens. OPA is very concerned about this program, which has been introduced into the session as HB 4, sponsored by Representative John Hagan from District 56. OPA is meeting with the Department of Aging, the sponsor, and the Governor's office to find solutions to our concerns.
Please send us any information that you have concerning the problems with discount
cards, and those that you find acceptable.
OPA Supports Freedom of Access Legislation
Pharmacy freedom of access legislation has been introduced as HB 53, sponsored by State Representive Bryan Williams. With the State Retirement Programs, and others, looking toward eliminating their members' freedom to choose their pharmacist, it is critical that this legislation be passed. Be sure to come to Pharmacy Legislative Day to find out about this critical legislation.
Provider Negotiation Legislation
OPA is a member of an impressive coalition of health care providers promoting legislation to allow health care providers in Ohio to negotiate contracts with health insurers. Physicians, pharmacists, dentists, optometrists and many other groups are together pushing this legislation, which should be introduced soon.
The same coalition is promoting legislation to be introduced by Senator Lou Blessing that gives freedom of access for all providers, assuming that the patient pays any cost difference between in-network providers, and the out-of-network
providers that they may choose. We also are working to pass prompt pay legislation, or legislation that would force insurers to pay claims within a month. Today, this is not a problem forpharmacies. However, you may recall in the 1970s when the state of Ohio hit a budget crunch, that they quit paying Medicaid claims
for nearly 9 months! There needs to be strong legislation to require third parties to pay claims. Again, we will keep you informed.