Save The Dates
NCPA Annual Convention
Plans are underway to hold our PFOA Annual Meeting and Board Elections at NCPA. Additional details will be distributed when available.
Welcome New Members!
CDC Releases Interim Guidance for Immunization Services during COVID-19 Pandemic
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a new
interim guidance document
to help pharmacists and other health care providers plan for safe administration of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance acknowledges the importance of ensuring that immunization services are maintained during the pandemic, especially for reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season.
The guidance includes:
- Considerations for routine vaccinations, including for children, pregnant women, and all adults.
- General practices for the safe delivery of vaccination services, including ways to minimize chances of exposure to COVID-19.
- Strategies for catch-up vaccinations following reduced vaccine administration during the initial months of the pandemic.
In addition to this document, CDC has released
Guidance for Pharmacies
aimed at helping all pharmacy staff to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
Publishes Two New Consumer Focused COVID-19 Web Pages
FDA has published a new web page to help the public access information regarding FDA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an educational resources page that provides links to FDA-produced COVID-19-related resources.
Innovation to Respond to COVID-19 includes summaries of multiple efforts, including a public-private partnership regarding 3D printing of medical devices and personal protective equipment and the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program.
COVID-19 Educational Resources provides links to videos, a social media toolkit, and consumer articles that can be shared with consumers directly, or through providers and government groups.
NACDS Urges States to Prepare for Pharmacist-Provided COVID-19
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores made its most recent recommendations to governors and state
executive teams, related to the current phase of COVID-19 response.
In letters that were customized to each state's unique situation, NACDS included recommendations for leveraging
pharmacies and pharmacists for the benefit of public health in the areas of COVID-19 testing, treatment and
vaccine deployment, as well as full preparation for the upcoming flu season.
NACDS recommended to each state specific actions related to important goals, including:
- Scale and sustain COVID-19 testing through the engagement of pharmacies and pharmacists, and preventing any rollback from the level of pandemic preparedness that has been achieved.
- Act now to prevent any delays in ensuring that pharmacies and pharmacists can aid in efficient deployment ofCOVID-19 treatments and vaccines, when they become available.
- Maintain operational and pharmacy-practice flexibilities that have been put into place during the pandemic so pharmacies and pharmacists can focus on meeting patients' needs - a strategy that remains important in anticipation of an early and compressed flu vaccination season.
By Sandra Levy Published in Drug Store News (edited)
Have You Signed In To Our New Website?
The new PFOA website includes vendor information and industry news.
Currently, PFOA sends out email notifications of rebate information from our major vendor partners. At some point, PFOA may eliminate these notifications and provide the information to you on our website.
to get access to information for PFOA members including rebate information specific to your store(s)
If you encounter any difficulties with your sign in, please email email@example.com
2900 N. University Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33065
West Region Sales
Vendor Programs/Mid-West Sales
Toll Free: 888-406-7467
Get Linked In!
Pharmacy Franchisees and Owners Assn
(FPN) Federation of Pharmacy Networks
(NCPDP) National Council for Prescription Drug Programs
(NCPA) National Community Pharmacists Association
(NABP) National Association of
Boards of Pharmacy
(NASPA) National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations
This week, during our staff meeting, the decision was made that our outside sales staff can proceed with an abundance of caution with judicious visits to members in the field. They will be required to call ahead for visits, wear masks, socially distance, keep sanitizer handy as well as any other logical and appropriate precaution.
Our monthly "What's News" piece was distributed on Wednesday. The piece highlights several initiatives to help our members. If you did not receive this email, please let us know.
Our Ananda Virtual Warehouse program continues to progress. Sales are coming in and increasing in frequency and volume. Our staff and Ananda's staff continues to promote it.
To provide a strategic plan for improving communications with members, we will begin a marketing committee and likely get some outside help. There will be a focus on the promotion of the group and its benefits, services, and product recommendations. This will give us a multifaceted methodology to our marketing and PR, making sure communications are appropriate and effective to membership, target membership, vendor/business partners and the industry at large. We expect this will also potentially lend itself to helping our members improve their patient and community communications.
Some additional programs PFOA is working on are the following:
- A PSAO question and decision tree for members.
- Updating our guidelines for our control procedure program.
- Reviewing what we started last year on business transition.
- Developing a moving your business checklist. Note we have had multiple moves done by members during the COVID-19 period. Two were board members.
No doubt 2020 has been and will continue to be an eventful year. It presents challenges but with these challenges 2020 presents opportunities for those who look for and seize them. We must encourage ourselves to organizationally help our members identify the changes and challenges. We should prepare to take advantage of those opportunities and get into complementary products and services. It's important to change ideas on how members and our organization promote themselves now and going forward. How do we communicate with members? How does our member better communicate with their patients and their community at large? Let's not pretend that today is just like the day before. Let's embrace the challenge and changes to make all of us more successful.
5 Industry Orgs Share Best Practices for Signature-free Rx Access
Five industry organizations have come together to share best practices for signature-free pickup and delivery of prescriptions. FMI -- The Food Industry Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the National Grocers Association, and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association today issued a joint statement for pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers about how to documenting signature-free delivery or pick-up of prescription drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizations said the best practices are intended to provide clarity so that consumers can feel confident in not having to physically sign for their prescriptions and to address pharmacy concerns about proper documentation for future audits.
The release noted that as long as one of the following is included in the delivery documentation, it should suffice for purposes of an audit:
- The delivery date, time, and words "COVID delivery" in the signature line;
- The delivery date, time, and word "COVID" in the signature line; and
- The delivery date, time, and word "COVID-19" in the signature line.
By Sandra Levy Published in Drug Store News (edited)
Notes from Recent NCPA KIPS Meeting
The NCPA just held their regular KIPS (Keep Independent Pharmacy Strong) meeting. Below are some of the highlights.
- NCPA, along with a number of other health industry leaders, are working with congress on liability protections against COVID-19 issues.
- There is talk of Clean Start legislative proposals allowing for some form of reimbursement for business-related changes due to the pandemic.
- The Supreme court case involving PBMs has not been rescheduled yet. They are hopeful for a fall rescheduling.
- 38 states have signed on to allow pharmacies to administer COVID tests. While there still are obstacles to testing and government program reimbursement, steps are being taken and pursued.
- NCPA just opened registration for their annual meeting scheduled for Nashville in October. They are offering a room for the board to meet at the meeting.
- The NCPA Disaster Relief Fund will be focusing on independent pharmacies affected by rioting in the past couple of weeks.
Which tests can I perform?
Check out this
Coronavirus Testing Basics
resource from the FDA. There are two main types of tests for COVID-19.
The first type is used for determining whether a patient is positive for the virus. This is referred to as a diagnostic
test (molecular test or antigen test). The second type of test detects the presence of antibodies that may convey
immunity. This test can be referred to as an antibody test or serology test.
Before you perform a test on a patient, verify that the test is deemed to be authorized for the CLIA-waived setting by
checking the list of test kit manufacturers
with an FDA
emergency use authorization
. There must be a "W" in the column titled "Authorized Settings" for any test, regardless of type, to be performed in a CLIA-waived laboratory.
This includes test kits that are part of a telehealth bundle. Pharmacies that purchase antibody test kits in
anticipation of the product becoming authorized for use in CLIA-waived settings do so at their own risk.
What about safety?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly contagious so you'll want to be sure to take extra care of your staff, patients and
pharmacy once you begin testing. Make sure you have protocols in place for proper use of
personal protective equipment
, hazardous waste disposal and disinfecting practices.
Where do I report results?
How do I bill for testing?
COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody tests can be billed under Medicare Part B.
Watch this video
to see how to
enroll or how to update your existing enrollment.
To bill Medicare, you will need to enroll as an Independent Clinical Laboratory. See page 3 of the NCPA Summary below for step-by-step instructions.
Medicaid may cover COVID-19 tests, including tests administered in non-office settings (such as parking lots or other temporary outdoor locations), and laboratory processing of self-collected COVID-19 tests that are FDA-authorized for self-collection.
The flexibility would apply not only during the current COVID-19 PHE, but also during any subsequent periods of active surveillance to detect recurrence of the virus.
CMS is looking to put out guidance to states as to how states can submit amendments to get pharmacists covered to provide tests and get paid.
Pharmacists should work with their state partners to ensure Medicaid coverage of pharmacist administered COVID-
While it is possible to submit prescription claims for COVID-19 tests, including using codes to indicate that a specimen was collected or that the test was performed at the pharmacy, it is not known if health plans will cover this in the pharmacy benefit.
Recommendations for processing these claims is available in the NCPDP Emergency Preparedness Information document updated 5/1/20.
Consider contacting the health plan or pharmacy helpdesk for any large employers in your area to determine coverage for COVID-19 testing.
Consider contacting large employers in your area directly to propose direct billing for testing.
Joining a CPESN USA Network may lead to access to reimbursement opportunities based on submitting care plans.
Reach out to your network.
At this time, it seems unlikely that FEMA will directly compensate or issue federally sourced test resources to pharmacies.
Reimbursement for testing would be possible through the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, but HRSA
has a program for the uninsured.
Federally sourced test resources are being distributed through state, local, and tribal health departments. Some of these have chosen to partner with pharmacies to expand testing capability.
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