CAMDEN, Ohio (WDTN) – A pilot program rolled out this month at two Miami Valley pharmacies that reimburses pharmacists for counseling their patients.

The participating pharmacists say it’s a win-win situation. They will now be compensated for services that they often already provide and it will improve health outcomes for their patients with chronic disease.

CareSource is rolling out the pilot program at two Zik’s Pharmacy in Dayton and the Camden Village Pharmacy in Preble County. These pharmacies are now labeled providers for certain services normally reserved for physicians, meaning they can bill for them.

“We can do counseling with diabetic patients, asthma, doing opioid management, tobacco cessation,” said Carol Perry, pharmacist and owner of Camden Village Pharmacy.

Perry said they were already doing most of these before but not to the extent they can now. Fellow pharmacist, Penny Nerderman, said she’s also excited because it means increased access to care.

“I spoke to a patient yesterday, he’s a diabetic and he mentioned he had a foot ulcer and wasn’t planning to get that checked out,” said Nerderman. “That can be pretty serious so it allows us to intervene and catch some things before it gets too serious.”

Both said this is a vital service that was needed in rural Preble County.

“If they just have a quick question or want to sit and talk a little more, get some more education, the doctors a lot of time don’t have time to do that,” said Perry. “So we’re making the time to be able to do that.”

“There’s not a whole lot of doctors close by, and we’re pretty accessible and we do a pretty business here,” said Nerderman. “Carol’s grown a great business here and there’s a lot of trust in the community with us.”

CareSource plans to run this pilot program for six months before any possibility of rolling it out further.