In the fall of 2021, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) identified the need for increased access to and availability of COVID-19 vaccines in underserved areas of Virginia where it may not be feasible to transport vulnerable populations to a vaccination site. In response, the Pharmacy Precision Clinic (PPC) program was developed and launched with funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The goal of the program is to improve access to COVID-19 vaccinations and increase vaccination rates by reimbursing pharmacists for administering COVID-19 vaccines, off-site, and in their communities. The PPC program allows local health districts (LHDs) to partner with a local pharmacy to offer convenient, off-site clinics in the community.
Pharmacies continue to be essential to the success of the PPC program and to date, the VDH has partnered with 82 pharmacies across the Commonwealth. The following map illustrates the distribution of PPC pharmacy partners across the five regions of Virginia. Since the launch of the program, over 370 clinics have been held and over 14,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered by pharmacists in their communities.
In April 2022, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) COVID-19 funding was exhausted. As a result, VDH modified the PPC program to include a model that would reimburse pharmacies for providing COVID-19 vaccinations to uninsured patients at the same rate as what HRSA was reimbursing. Below is an explanation of the two PPC models operating in Virginia at this time.
Model 1. This model is designed to enable pharmacies to go off-site and offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics in their communities. With this model, no patient insurance is collected and every COVID-19 vaccine administered is invoiced to VDH. The pharmacy is reimbursed based on the number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered. A precision clinic utilizing this model is initiated by the LHD, based on the need in the community.
Model 2. Launched in April 2022, this modified PPC model allows pharmacies to be reimbursed for providing COVID-19 vaccinations to uninsured patients, on-site and within their pharmacy. For those without insurance, the pharmacy invoices VDH for reimbursement. For those with insurance, the pharmacy bills the third party for reimbursement. This model mimics what HRSA was reimbursing, at $40 per COVID-19 vaccination administered.
The VDH Division of Pharmacy Services coordinates the PPC program and has collaborated with the VDH Office of Health Equity, the COVID-19 School Support Unit, LHDs, and Community-Based and Faith-Based Organizations. The success of the program is best illustrated through the feedback we have received from community partners.
“We are working together to meet the needs of our communities. Precision Clinics (PC) has expanded our outreach and has allowed flexibility to support many communities. They have aided our efforts to better serve the communities in which they live. Precision Clinics has assisted faith-based communities in Virginia with vaccination events. Our collaboration with PC has had a significant impact on reducing vaccine apprehension by allowing community members to receive vaccines in trusted spaces.” – Veronica Cosby, VDH Office of Health Equity
“Peoples Pharmacy is located in a medically underserved community in Norfolk Virginia. People living in medically underserved communities are at a higher risk for worse outcomes should they become ill from COVID-19. In alignment with our mission, “to improve the health and wellness of our community”, Peoples Pharmacy partnered with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to provide COVID-19 Precision Clinics. By partnering with VDH we have been able to successfully provide greater accessibility to the COVID-19 vaccines. Peoples Pharmacy has in partnership VDH been able to curb the spread of the pandemic in medically underserved communities.” – Dr. Anna Peoples, PPC Pharmacy Partner
For more information about the VDH Pharmacy Precision Clinic program please contact email@example.com.