Idaho Society of Health-System Pharmacists
As Idaho continues to work through and manage the Coronavirus pandemic, ISHP is here to help connect you to resources that can help provide you with the tools you need to take care of your patients.
Idaho Informational Resources
Pharmacies COVID-19 Testing Locations
N95 Mask Decontamination
FEMA has provided Idaho with a great opportunity for providers to preserve and re-use N95 masks. FEMA has deployed a revolutionary technology created by Battelle called the Critical Care Decontamination System (CCDS). They have located 60 of these systems around the country, and one is currently being set up in Idaho Falls.
CCDS uses vaporized hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate an N95 mask, and each mask can be treated up to 20 times with no degradation to the mask’s quality. The CCDS can decontaminate up to 80,000 masks per day. FEMA covers the cost of the decontamination and, in some cases, Battelle may cover the shipping/transport of the masks to and from Idaho Falls.
If your facility is interested in utilizing this system, they will need to register with Battelle. You will then be contacted by a Battelle representative with all the barcoding and shipping information.
Idaho Legislative Update - Rule 704
The temporary rule regarding the stockpiling of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine was rescinded by the Board of Pharmacy on June 11, 2020.
Idaho Legislative Update - Rule 402.3
Idaho Board of Pharmacy updated Rule 402.03, which states: “A prescription drug order may be refilled when permitted by state and federal law and as specifically authorized by the prescriber”. And added: “A pharmacist may also refill a prescription for a non-controlled drug when the prescriber is not available for authorization.” Please note the thirty day supply limitation has been removed. Posted 3/23/2020
During this time a lot of patients are concerned about getting their medications and below are some helpful tips for getting medications during COVID-19:
DEA’s COVID-19 Information Page
The DEA has put together a COVID-19 information page. It contains important guidance concerning COVID-19 and the national drug supply, electronic prescribing of controlled substances, telemedicine, medicated assisted treatment, and other important federal and state information. This site will be updated frequently as new information and guidance is issued. Please check back frequently for further information. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/coronavirus.html
ASHP Expanded Resources
ASHP is making their evidence-based resources and tools relevant to the pandemic accessible by all healthcare professionals who need them.
Effective today, they have unlocked many member resources on ASHP.org including section and topical Resource Centers (e.g., Emergency Preparedness, Geriatrics, Inpatient Care ), relevant webinars and online programs (e.g., infectious diseases, flu, disaster and mass casualty preparedness, and well-being and resilience ), and select AJHP articles. Additionally, public access to AHFS Drug Information® is available for the next 60 days with the username "firstname.lastname@example.org" and password "covid-19."
Medicare is expanding coverage of telemedicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMS summary may be accessed using this link https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet [cms.gov].
To help you better understand what this means for pharmacists, on March 18, 2020, ASHP prepared an Issue Brief: COVID-19 and Telehealth Changes [ashp.org], which is also provided for you below:
On March 6, 2020, the “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act [congress.gov]” became law. In addition to providing healthcare agencies with more money to address the COVID-19 outbreak, it also loosens existing telehealth restrictions in order to enhance patient access to care services. On March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they have expanded the waiver for telehealth in a few areas. The waiver of the existing rules is not restricted to existing patients but is open to new patients for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 as well as other conditions unrelated to the public health emergency. However, it does not open up telehealth billing to new practitioners.
Telehealth Regulations Waiver
Under the new law, the Health & Human Services Secretary may waive certain restrictions on telehealth during a declared public health emergency. For instance, the Secretary can waive the “originating site” requirement for identified geographic areas designated an “emergency area.” Under normal conditions, a beneficiary must travel to an actual site of care – the originating site – to receive telehealth services, but the waiver authority allows beneficiaries to receive services wherever they are. Currently, because of the COVID-19 public health emergency [phe.gov], the Secretary has waived the originating site and geographical site restrictions on Medicare telehealth services to allow all areas and locations within the country delivery of these services, including patients’ home. The Secretary has also allowed services to be provided by phone or tablet, provided that the beneficiary has both audio and visual feeds to the provider. Practitioners are able to use everyday communication technologies such as FaceTime or Skype during the COVID-19 public health emergency without breaking HIPAA rules. The waiver is expanded to both new and existing patients. Although the beneficiary must initiate the encounter and give informed consent prior to telehealth treatment, practitioners are able to educate beneficiaries on the availability of the service prior to patient initiation. All other telehealth regulations, including the list of “qualified providers” remain in effect.