Point of Care (POC) Testing

General Description, Overview, and Opportunity

Point-of-carePoint-of-care (POC) testing involves performing a diagnostic test outside of a laboratory that produces a reliable result rapidly to aid in disease screening, diagnosis, and/or patient monitoring. These tests are waived under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 and just like other CLIA waived tests for glucose and cholesterol pharmacists can charge patients directly or bill third party payers.

Point-of-care testing for infectious diseases provides an excellent opportunity for community pharmacies to enhance revenue by expanding patient care services while improving health at the patient and population level. It allows for the screening and diagnostic process to be completed during a single encounter, thereby improving access to care, counseling, and patient outcomes and can improve the prevention and treatment of diseases such as influenza, strep A, HIV, and hepatitis C. In addition, by providing more accurate data on disease prevention, point-of-care testing can increase public health agencies’ ability to reach targeted populations. For example, in the United States alone, it is estimated that 3,000-50,000 individuals die each year from influenza. Many patients with influenza never receive critical antiviral therapy because they fail to seek care from a health care professional within the 48 hour window for treatment.

Types of Tests

CLIA-waived Tests

Certifications

A certificate of waiver is required to perform these tests in a CLIA waived setting. To obtain a certificate of waiver, you should contact your state health department. Additional CLIA waived information is available at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website.

Please note that participation in this space is dependent on state specific requirements such as pharmacy practice acts and collaborative practice agreements.

Supply Companies

Pharmacist Resources and Training

A certificate program developed jointly by clinicians and faculty from Ferris State University College of Pharmacy and the University of Nebraska Medical College of Pharmacy, and the Michigan Pharmacists Association. NACDS has acquired the program and is looking to make it universally available.

- NCPA Corporate Member