Rhode Island Pharmacists Association

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An update from Rhode Island Pharmacists Association : COVID-19 Update 03/18/2020

  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 6:48 PM
    Reply # 8859093 on 8853750
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I was asked to send this out to all the State Pharmacy Associations – that pharmacies do not have to have the patient sign for their prescription for CMS audit purposes at this time.


    Stay safe!




    Kelly Valente, PharmD, MS, BCACP

    Commander, USPHS

    Regional Pharmacist

    CMS Boston

    Drug and Health Plan Operations

    Office of Program Operations and Local Engagement

    Phone Number: 617-565-1271

    Date: March 20, 2020

    To: All Part D Plan Sponsors

    From: Alec Alexander, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Program Integrity

    Subject: Minimizing Face-to-Face Contact for Medication Delivery or Dispensing

    On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) declared a public

    health emergency under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d) in

    response to a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 (“coronavirus”). On March 13, 2020,

    the President of the United States declared a national emergency based on the spread of this


    CMS encourages Part D sponsors to work with their first tier, downstream, and related entities to

    identify means of ensuring that medication is delivered to patients without requiring face-to-face

    contact, which could result in transmission of the coronavirus. Medicare Part D regulations

    require Part D sponsors and their first tier, downstream, and related entities to make their books

    and records available to HHS to permit audits, including the review of any information needed to

    determine compliance with Part D requirements. These audits can include a review of

    documentation of medication delivery or dispensing, including evidence of the patient’s

    signature. However, requiring a patient signature for receipt of medication could undermine

    current public health efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus. We are making clear that

    HHS does not require and will not audit for patient signatures as proof of delivery for any

    medications, including for controlled substances. Part D sponsors should work with pharmacy

    benefit managers and other entities to continue to utilize tools at their disposal to make sure

    beneficiaries are receiving controlled substances appropriately.

    If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us via email at


    1 file
    Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 5:32 PM
    Reply # 8858810 on 8853750

    Do you have questions on COVID-19??

    Enter them here: https://pollev.com/uri2020

    RIPA is also in the process of uploading resources for patients, pharmacists and technicians. Keep an eye on our website: http://ripharmacists.org/COVID19

    Not receiving updates (pictures below) on prescribing guidance for off-label medications for COVID-19, or PPE? Make sure to subscribe to the DOH updates : https://forms.gle/UwDXjc9sxTqmPWRGA

    You may also contact: Annemarie Beardsworth (A.beardsworth@health.ri.gov) to be added to the list.

    Please contact if you have ideas to help improve your practice, pharmacy or patient care during this challenging time in health care. We are here to advocate for you

    Stay healthy, and remember there are still many things you can still control!

  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 4:20 PM
    Reply # 8858585 on 8853750
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    RIPA is encouraging pharmacies to take steps to keep their staff and customers save. While appropriate PPE would be ideal, we are aware of ongoing shortages of PPE, and the need for alternative steps to help prevent the spread of the virus. Part of that would be to take mitigation steps to avoid close contact, like preferred use of the drive thru, delivery , curbside pickup etc using line spacers etc. The DOH has called for most businesses to take steps to limit gatherings > 10 people or more. Each organization / company is handling this a little differently. I would remind pharmacists that pharmacies are licensed under the license of the pharmacist in charge (PIC) whom is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of their pharmacy.

    If PICs believe that their pharmacy “owners”/employers are unwilling to support a workplace is safe for them or their patients, (including but not limited to staffing issues) then I would encourage pharmacists and technicians to voice their complaints directly with the DOH/BOP. They can email the DOH complaint line @ DOH.ecomplaint@health.ri.gov.

  • Tuesday, March 24, 2020 10:53 AM
    Message # 8853750
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    RI DOH Infectious Disease Advisories & Newsletters for Providers 


    Pharmacists who would like to be added to the RI Department of Health daily Provider email alerts can sign up using the link below. 


    Else directly contact Annemarie Beardsworth (A.beardsworth@health.ri.gov) to be added to the list. 


    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources For Pharmacists


    Note from the RI DOH regarding E-RX for controls

    Please Note the exceptions in the electronic prescribing regs as to filling controlled substances when it is impossible to send an e-script due to technical difficulties. In these challenging times, being patient-centered means doing our best to ensure continuity of care, especially controlled substances, to help our patients avoid miserable withdrawal symptoms in some cases. 


    A Message from RI Medicaid re Prior Authorizations

    Dear Provider,

    Effective immediately all currently active Prior Authorizations with an end prior to May 31, 2020 will be extended through May 31, 2020 to allow additional time for services to be delivered.

    No action is required by providers. The extension will be applied systematically.

    Should you have questions please contact the Customer Service Help Desk at (401) 784-8100 for local and long-distance calls (800) 964-6211 for in-state toll calls.

    Provider Services

    RI Medicaid

    DXC Technology


    BCBSRI Payer Update


    NHPRI Payer Update

Rhode Island Pharmacists Association ∙ 1643 Warwick Ave PMB 113, Warwick, RI 02889 ∙ Phone: (401) 684-1874

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