The Importance of CLIA Waivers
Laboratory testing is an essential part of any medical practice. When I say medical practice, I am not just referring to a physician’s office or a hospital, but also to a community based pharmacy.
I think that a lot of us (pharmacy personnel) would agree that your neighborhood pharmacy is the easiest access to healthcare… but do our patients truly realize this? If not, then we should be asking ourselves how we can prove our role past “just dispensers”.
Point- of-care testing. This may be the answer to the question that asked earlier. Our patients shouldn’t just associate a pharmacy with “a store” that they only go to “get their medications”. Let’s step up our game by being a place that our patients can go to for just more than picking up their prescriptions.
CLIA waived tests are usually simple tests that are FDA approved, pose no harm to the patient, and are ways to generate revenue into the pharmacy. The steps to obtaining a CLIA waiver include going to the CMS CLIA website, enroll in the program by obtaining a certificate, and then pay a small fee every two years. The process is so simple, but allows us to do more than just “count pills”. We can help manage our patients chronic disease states, better manage their medications, and even screen for COVID-19 when we offer these point-of-care services.
For more information on how to get started, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/CLIA/index?redirect=/CLIA/