Pharmacists can be reimbursed for conducting strep tests through a new U.S. Wellness program.
Community pharmacists who complete training will get paid for conducting strep tests through a new program being developed by the National Community Pharmacists Association and U.S. Wellness Inc.
An on-line two-hour continuing education course to certify pharmacists in strep testing is being developed by NCPA. Participating R.Ph.s must complete the CE program before they can offer the service and order the strep test kits at a special price from U.S. Wellness, formerly Medica, LLC. Although the pharmacists are free to set their own price, the suggested fee per test is $20.
"Every year, 15 million strep tests are performed, but strep testing has not been available to community pharmacies until this U.S. Wellness program," said CEO Tony Masso, R.Ph. "We are collaborating with NCPA to give thousands of pharmacies the opportunity to give quick, convenient strep tests. Patients will come into a certified pharmacy for strep tests and within six minutes get the results."
U.S. Wellness agreed last year to offer NCPA members special rates for a wellness center package to help them get started in disease state management, patient screening, and wellness programs. The firm, based in Gaithersburg, Md., will also promote and use educational materials developed by NCPA's National Institute for Pharmacist Care Outcomes (NIPCO).
"It's been very difficult for pharmacists to receive reimbursement for disease state management or patient counseling," said Masso. "We provided NCPA with a mechanism for pharmacists to, in fact, receive reimbursement for doing that. This is one of several products we will be launching with NCPA this year."
Many pharmacists have developed the clinical skills to provide pharmaceutical care, but they sometimes don't know how to implement it in their practices. That's where U.S. Wellness can help, said founder and co-president Christopher Cresswell. "Pharmacists are clinicians, but they have very little training in marketing and execution," he said. "We are implementation experts. With our programs, we take them through a step-by-step, hand-holding implementation process."
For more information, go to www.uswellness.com ; or phone toll-free 1-(888) 926-6099.
Carol Ukens. Strep tests added to R.Ph. care lineup.