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8-27-2020 COVID-19 Pandemic – “News You Can Use in Pennsylvania”

Thursday, August 27, 2020  
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COVID-19 Pandemic – “News You Can Use in Pennsylvania” | August 27

Dear Colleagues – Welcome to today’s COVID-19 Pandemic PSHP News

The PSHP’s Leadership Team goal of these email blasts is to provide valuable information related to the current COVID-19 Pandemic relative to our practices here in Pennsylvania.  It also provides you with short summary data on national news and newly published articles without inundating you with unnecessary information that is also coming to you through other forums. Thank you all.

The next Email Blast will be due out on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

ASHP Reporting of Remdesivir Allocation

ASHP Reporting of Remdesivir Allocation for next week, based on numbers submitted this week,
*note Pennsylvania’s Allocation for this week.  This information was released Monday-08-24-20.

For source data and more information CLICK HERE.

Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy News – Meeting, August 18, 2020

The PA-SBOP has opened up the Pharmacist License Renewal Portal has opened effective.  
Those who have the required number and type of CEs should renew now, on time.  
Those that need the extra time to complete the CEs required will have until Dec. 29, 2020 and renew their license.   We are hopeful that the BOP will modify the CE requirement to apply for the full 2-year cycle for those that are able to renew their license on time, by Sept. 30, 2020.

COVID-19 related news - the BOP Inspectors, who are the part of the Pa Dept. of Stare, Bureau of Enforcement and Investigations, have been responding to consumer complaints about the lack of Masks being worn behind the prescription counter by pharmacy staff.  Masks are mandatory for all pharmacy personnel per the CDC Guidelines and the PA Department of Health Executive Order.  Failure to comply is resulting in Sanctions against the pharmacy, as part of the “cleanliness and sanitary conditions” requirement.  Please ensure your entire staff (not just clean room personnel) is compliant as Inspectors are arriving unannounced.  Institutions with Public Access and Ambulatory Care Pharmacies on-site should pay close attention to this standard.

Finally, some GREAT NEWS -- the Board is in its final stages for setting regulations around and approving students to be able to immunize patients/customers, once didactic immunization educational requirements have been met.  We expect this announcement to be made shortly.

PSHP – sponsored DOP Call on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The call for this week was canceled due to a lack of new and/or timely information requiring an hour of your time.  We will continue to schedule these calls for every other week, next due September 9, 2020, using our PSHP Conference Call Line (712) 770-4881, passcode 932677 #.

Should there be no need to conduct a call, it will again be postponed, until such time as new information arises and /or vaccines are announced with available dates such that mechanisms of actions and details surrounding distribution can be discussed.  We ask that Directors please share this information with their Clinical Specialists (for articles and study updates) and the rest of their staff.  PSHP would like to thank the directors for joining and their continued support.

ASHP Statement: HHS Allows Pharmacists to Order & Administer Pediatric Vaccines: 08/19/20

ASHP released the below statement Thursday from Tom Kraus, J.D., Vice President of Government Relations, regarding the Department of Health and Human Services new authorization that enables qualified licensed pharmacists to provide pediatric immunizations during COVID-19 public health emergency:

“Allowing pharmacists to administer pediatric vaccines is a vital step in safeguarding children.  Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers with close to 90% of the U.S. population living within 5 miles of a pharmacy.  More than 50% of children do not have a regular source of coordinated healthcare. Pharmacists, who have improved access to the flu vaccine, can help play a similarly critical role in ensuring children are vaccinated against a multitude of diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Further, ASHP believes that HHS should use its authority under the Public Readiness and Preparedness Act to authorize pharmacists to provide COVID-19 vaccinations in all states, when a vaccine becomes available.”     

Hospitals to get Medicare pay Hike for care of COVID-19 patients 
Becker’s Hospital Report – August 17, 2020

Hospitals will get a payment boost on Sept. 1 for caring for Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with COVID-19. A positive COVID-19 laboratory test must be documented in the patient's medical record for the hospital to receive the higher payment, CMS announced Aug. 17. 

Four things to know: 

  • Hospitals will get a 20 percent Medicare pay bump for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Bloomberg Law. 
  • To receive the payment boost, the COVID-19 test must be taken within 14 days of the hospital admission. Only the results of viral testing that are consistent with CDC guidelines can be used. "In the rare circumstance where a viral test was performed more than 14 days prior to the hospital admission, CMS will consider whether there are complex medical factors in addition to that test result for purposes of this documentation requirement," CMS said.
  • Tests performed by an entity other than the hospital, such as a local government-run testing center, can be manually entered into the patient's medical record.
  • CMS may conduct post-payment medical review to confirm a positive COVID-19 laboratory test. If there isn't a positive test in the patient's medical record, CMS will recoup the 20 percent payment increase.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

PSHP would like to thank all of our volunteer members who have assisted in supporting us and all of you in addressing state specific issues related to COVID-19 issues. Our leaders have continued to engage on your behalf with the PA Board of Pharmacy, the PA Department of Health, HAP, PEMA, and state medical organizations. PSHP is incurring additional expenses to support these efforts including staff from our association management firm in support of our daily messages. 

If you are not already a member of PSHP already please consider joining. If you are a member, please be sure your membership is up to date.  Please engage as a volunteer within PSHP, including sharing suggestions or comments related to the state's COVID-19 response. Send your comments for sharing to (Larry Jones), or, Brad Cooper).  

Thank you for your active participation in the profession of pharmacy!   

Other suggestions or related issues?

To make this information meaningful, please provide us feedback on what you would like to see in this BLAST and all are invited to please contribute information to post by submitting your information to us via email. 

Disclaimer:  The information provided in these e-mail blasts is intended to be shared across all Directors of Pharmacy in Pennsylvania and our PSHP members for individual determination, to assist facilities with product and/or service alternatives (suggestions only) as appropriate for Peer Review.  It is not intended to be interpreted as a mandate or as a PSHP-supported modification nor as an acceptable regulation alternative.  For this the PA State Board of Pharmacy has the final authority.

Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists

PO Box 22520, Philadelphia, PA 19110 | (978) 364-5097 |


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