COVID-19 Testing in Pharmacies

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Featured Updates

Testing Basics Resource

FAQ on the basics of COVID-19 tests, including molecular, antigen and antibody tests; testing activities; and counseling patients. 

Testing Models CPE

CE is now available! Determine the best testing model for your practice in this interactive, self-paced learning module.

Guide to Tests Resource 

FAQ on how COVID-19 tests are authorized, which tests are appropriate for your pharmacy setting, and obtaining a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. 

Why Do Testing?

APhA CEO Blog: A nation seeking security needs pharmacists as COVID-19 testers (May 5)
We need more tests, and we need more testing sites—and we need them fast. APhA and our pharmacy colleagues have been using our collective might to spread the message that leveraging pharmacists and pharmacies is a clear path to achieving this. (Blog Post)

Authority to Test

Authority to Test for COVID-19: Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, and Pharmacy Interns (November 4)
FAQ on pharmacist, pharmacy intern, and technician authority from the federal level to the state level, including the HHS actions and the requirements that must be met. (PDF)

Public Resource Links
View HHS guidance authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that FDA has authorized. (April 8)

HHS issued an advisory opinion concluding that licensed pharmacists may order and administer COVID-19 tests even in states that prohibit licensed pharmacists from ordering and administering these tests. (May 19)

Understanding Testing

APhA Know the Facts: COVID-19 Testing Basics (October 30)
FAQ on the basics of COVID-19 tests, including molecular, antigen and antibody tests as well as testing activities and understanding test performance when counseling patients. (PDF)

APhA Know the Facts: Pharmacists’ Guide to Authorized COVID-19 Tests and the CLIA Waiver Process (October 30)
FAQ guide to how COVID-19 tests are authorized, which tests are appropriate for your pharmacy setting, and how and why to obtain a CLIA Certificate of Waiver. (PDF)

APhA Education During COVID-19: COVID-19 Testing: Understanding the Different Types of Tests and the Role of the Pharmacy Team (October 14)
CE is available. During this session, a pharmacist discusses the importance of the COVID-19 testing, the role the pharmacy team can play in getting patients appropriately tested, and opportunities for reimbursement. (CPE)

APhA Quick Quiz: COVID-19 Testing (October 14)
CE is available. COVID-19 test kits have not been FDA approved but many have been granted Emergency Use Authorization. Take this quiz to learn the role pharmacy teams play to ensure patients are appropriately tested. (CPE)

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Antibody Testing (May 21)
Learn about antibody testing, how to evaluate antibody tests, and implications for pharmacists. Our guest speakers include Dr. Paul Herrmann, MD, PhD, of Loma Linda University, and Dr. Dan Zlott, APhA Vice President, Professional Education Resources. (Video - Slides)

APhA 15 on COVID-19: Testing (April 10)
We have been hearing about COVID-19 testing almost nonstop since the COVID-19 outbreak began. Recently, pharmacists were granted authority to administer COVID-19 tests. Are you looking for information about how these tests work and what some of the limitations of the different types of tests are? Join us for this 15 on COVID-19 episode to get the answers you’re looking for. (CPE Video)

Public Resource Links
Learn the basics about the different types of tests for COVID-19 and the steps involved in this FDA resource for everyone. (PDF)

See CDC's interim guidelines for COVID-19 antibody testing with recommendations on the use of serologic tests. (Real-Time)

Preparing to Test

APhA Education During COVID-19: COVID-19 Testing Models (November 5)
CE is now available for this resource! Determine the best testing model for your practice in this interactive, self-paced learning module. (CPE)

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Frontline Testing Perspectives (August 13)
Learn about pharmacy models for COVID-19 testing, successful approaches to implementing testing, and the pharmacist’s role in related patient care services. (Video - Slides)

APhA Know the Facts: Pharmacy Models for COVID-19 Testing (July 29)
This guide provides a step-by-step overview of two emerging pharmacy COVID-19 testing models and the associated payment opportunities at this time. Pharmacists interested in providing COVID-19 testing should know the requirements and considerations to get started. (PDF) (CPE)

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Immunizations; Testing (May 28)
Watch the latest information on national recommendations for pharmacists providing immunizations during the pandemic, considerations for the upcoming fall season, and an update on COVID-19 vaccine development. APhA staff also provided an update on billing and payment for COVID-19 testing. Our guest speaker was Dr. L.J. Tan, Chief Strategy Officer for the Immunization Action Coalition. (Video - Slides)

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Medications Being Studied; Testing in a Community Pharmacy (April 23)
Hear an update on the most recent evidence for medications being studied for COVID19. Tennessee pharmacist Beth Bryan, PharmD, shares her front-line perspective on launching COVID-19 testing in a community pharmacy. (Video - Slides)

Public Resource Links
FDA's Letter to Clinical Laboratory Staff and Health Care Providers on the Potential for False Positive Results with Antigen Tests for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2 (November 3)

FDA's Recommendations on Providing Clear Instructions to Patients Who Self-Collect an Anterior Nares (Nasal) Sample in a Health Care Setting for SARS-CoV-2 Testing - Letter to Health Care Providers (October 7)

Fraudulent Activity

APhA Know the Facts: COVID-19 Fraudulent Medical Products and Scams: Protecting Pharmacists and Patients (August 12)
Don’t unsuspectingly fall prey to these offers, and be armed with information to warn your patients. Awareness also helps you ask your patients targeted questions if they describe unexpected side effects from drugs or unexplained symptoms. (PDF)

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Fraudulent Activity Related to Tests and Medical Products (April 2)
Fraudulent activity related to COVID-19 tests and medical products was the focus of this weekly webinar. (Video - Slides)

APhA CEO Blog: Protect yourselves and your patients from bogus COVID-19 cures, test kits, and PPE (March 31)
We’re getting reports of scams, counterfeit products, and bogus personal protection equipment (PPE) being offered online and through various channels. Some even falsely claim they’ve received FDA certification. (Blog Post)

Advocacy on Testing

APhA Urges CMS to Maximize the Use of Pharmacists to Respond to COVID-19 (November 2)
APhA is working with CMS to maximize the use of pharmacists to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. APhA continues to emphasize the need for CMS to provide direct reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and all testing-related services provided in all eligible pharmacies.

APhA Urges Congress to Authorize Pharmacists’ COVID Testing and Immunization Services under Medicare in Next Pandemic Bill (July 24)
In a letter delivered on July 24 to Congressional Leadership, APhA requested immediate action to address the growing need to expand COVID-19 testing and immunization services by providing all pharmacists with temporary provider status in Medicare Part B. 

APhA Urges CMS to Maximize Use of Pharmacists for Nation’s Public Health Needs During COVID-19 (July 7)
In July 7 comments to CMS, APhA advocated to clarify regulations and remove remaining barriers to ensure all pharmacists and pharmacies, including community pharmacies, can fully implement the recent HHS testing guidance and provide all patients with accessible testing, medications, and patient care services. APhA told CMS that pharmacists need a clear pathway for direct payment, and the same level of payment provided for other health care providers, during COVID-19—and for future public health emergencies. Advocacy Summary.

APhA Urges Admiral Giroir to Advocate for Regulatory Clarity for Payment for COVID Testing Provided by Pharmacists (May 8)
In a letter on May 8 to Admiral Giroir, APhA urged the Administration to provide additional regulatory clarity and for Congress to provide statutory authority recognizing pharmacists as providers of testing services to ensure access for Medicare beneficiaries in all communities across the country. 

APhA Urges CMS to Remove Barriers on Pharmacist-Provided COVID-19 Testing and Telehealth Services (June 1)
On June 1, APhA submitted comments urging CMS to remove barriers on pharmacist-provided testing and clarify telehealth flexibility for pharmacist-provided patient care services. HHS and CMS have taken initial actions to increase the participation of pharmacists to increase COVID-19 testing. However, there remains a number of logistical, pharmacist and pharmacy payment (particularly regarding specimen collection), and patient access issues that must be addressed. 
 

Key Links