Gov. Jared Polis outlined state legislators’ efforts to address rising health care costs, as well as other bipartisan efforts, during a press conference Wednesday morning at the Pikes Peak Community College Centennial Campus in Colorado Springs.

Of particular note was a bill that would tighten regulations on Colorado’s pharmacy technicians, requiring them to be certified by the state’s board of pharmacy before they can work in the field.

Because pharmacy technicians are not regulated on a federal level, each state determines regulations through its own board of pharmacy. Prior to this legislation, Colorado was one of only five states that had yet to enact any standards for the profession.

The bill, which Polis signed Monday, is part of the legislature’s ongoing agenda to bring relief to Coloradans who are buckling under high health care costs, the governor said.

“Part of what we wanted to do to save people money on health care is expand scope of care, meaning trained pharmacists, pharmacist technicians, EMS,” Polis said. “We have bills in all of those areas — for instance, where we have emergency medical service providers that should be able to perform services on the spot. In many cases, if a nurse provides a service, it’s reimbursed by the insurance company at a rate that’s lower than a doctor and they can do it every bit as well… if not better, with less on their plate.

“By making sure that people are able to fully engage in providing medical services, and that they are trained to do so safely and competently, we also can have a downward pressure in rates and save people money on health care.”

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Read more on HB19-1242 in next week’s edition of the Business Journal.

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