PharmaCare covers the full cost of eligible prescription drugs and designated medical supplies for permanent residents of a licensed long-term care (LTC) facility that has asked PharmaCare to list it as a Plan B facility.
When a facility is added as a Plan B facility, individuals who are permanent residents of the facility are automatically covered under PharmaCare Plan B.
Individuals living permanently in a licensed long-term care facility on PharmaCare’s list of Plan B facilities are eligible for coverage under Plan B.
Coverage is provided for individuals, rather than families.
Plan B does not apply to individuals who are:
Each long-term care facility on the list of Plan B facilities is served by one contracted pharmacy.
Every month, PharmaCare pays the contracted pharmacy:
The monthly capitation fee is paid according to the number of beds the pharmacy has serviced, regardless of the number of residents who may have occupied the bed during the month.
Coverage start date
Individuals do not need to apply for Plan B coverage.
Facilities on the list of Plan B facilities and contracted pharmacies identify an individual’s eligibility and submit the information to PharmaCare. Plan B coverage begins the day eligibility is entered in PharmaNet.
Plan B coverage cannot be provided retroactively.
What is covered
PharmaCare Plan B covers the full cost of eligible prescription drugs and medical supplies/devices up to the maximum PharmaCare recognizes.
Eligible medical supplies/devices:
Eligible pharmacy services:
What is not covered
Coverage under other PharmaCare plans
Pharmacies must not use another PharmaCare plan to submit a PharmaCare claim for residents of Plan B facilities. Such claims are subject to audit and recovery.
There are two exceptions to this policy:
Plan W OTC items
If a Plan B facility resident is also covered under First Nations Health benefits (Plan W), they may receive coverage for over-the-counter (OTC) items on the Plan W formulary that are not covered by Plan B.
OTC claims submitted under Plan W for FNHA clients in Plan B facilities should be entered at the eligible retail cost plus a $10 dispensing fee. PharmaCare’s Frequency of Dispensing Policy applies to these Plan W–paid claims.
The intent of this exception is to allow coverage for Plan W OTC benefits that are not covered under Plan B. Pharmacies should only bill OTCs (and OTC dispensing fees) to Plan W that are not a Plan B benefit.
After submitting an OTC claim under Plan W for an FNHA client receiving care in a Plan B facility, pharmacies serving Plan B facilities must be sure to include the Plan B facility code for all subsequent (non-OTC) claims. Without the facility code, PharmaNet will continue adjudicating claims under Plan W. For details, see the PharmaCare Newsletter article Plan B pharmacies: Submitting OTC Claims for Plan W beneficiaries (PDF, 974 KB)
Continuous/flash glucose monitors
Continuous/flash glucose monitors (CGMs/FGMs) are not covered under Plan B but can be covered under the Plan B facility resident’s non-Plan B plan (i.e., Fair PharmaCare, Plan C, or Plan W—with Special Authority).
CGMs/FGMs should be entered under the alternate plan at the eligible retail cost plus a $10 dispensing fee. PharmaCare’s Actual Acquisition Cost Policy applies to all CGM/FGM claims.
Note that the intent of this exception is to allow coverage for CGMs/FGMs for Plan B residents, since CGMs/FGMs are not covered under Plan B.
After submitting a CGM/FGM claim under a Plan B facility resident’s alternate plan, be sure to include the Plan B facility code for all subsequent (non-CGM/FGM) claims. Without the facility code, PharmaNet will continue adjudicating claims under the plan under which the CGM/FGM was claimed.
Community pharmacies enrolled as PharmaCare providers may submit claims to PharmaCare for prescriptions received as verbal orders by clinical pharmacists or pharmacists working in ambulatory care (Health Authority pharmacists) from practitioners in LTC facilities, including prescriptions with frequent or daily dispensing. The verbal order may be received by a licensed pharmacist or licensed pharmacy technician working in the community pharmacy, or in another setting (e.g., hospital, primary care clinic, etc.), who then relays the prescription to the community pharmacy.
A verbal prescription requires a written record that includes the information listed in the College of Pharmacists’ Health Professions Act (HPA) Bylaws–Residential Care Facilities and Homes Standards of Practice (Schedule F, Part 3), Section 6.8. Under the bylaws, the written record of a verbal prescription must include:
Requirements for faxed prescriptions in the College of Pharmacists’ HPA Bylaws–Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice (Schedule F, Part 1), Section 7.1 may also apply to verbal prescriptions. If a pharmacist working in another setting (e.g., hospital, primary care clinic, etc.) receives a verbal prescription from a practitioner that must be faxed to a community pharmacy, the prescription must be faxed from the practitioner’s place of work.
Verbal prescriptions from RNs, RPNs and LPNs
As per College of Pharmacists’ HPA Bylaws–Residential Care Facilities and Homes Standards of Practice, Section 6.9, community pharmacies may also submit claims to PharmaCare for a dispense under a prescription received as a verbal order by a facility’s registered nurse, registered psychiatric nurse or licensed practical nurse, if:
>> See the College of Pharmacists’ HPA Bylaws–Residential Care Facilities and Homes Standards of Practice for more about the requirements for verbal prescriptions in long-term care facilities.
>> See the College of Pharmacists’ HPA Bylaws–Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice for more about the requirements for verbal prescriptions.
Many pharmacies provide services to individuals living in long-term care facilities who are covered under PharmaCare Plan B. Continuity of service is critical for these patients.
Setting up a new facility
If a pharmacy is going to provide services to a long-term care facility that will open in the near future, the facility must first contact the Information Support unit at Health Insurance BC (HIBC) to request that they be added as a Plan B facility with BC PharmaCare.
The facility must submit the following information to Information Support, allowing thirty days’ notice:
Terminating a pharmacy provider service
A pharmacy provider intending to terminate services to Plan B patients must give notice to Information Support. The termination date must be the last day of a month (end of day) and notice must be given no later than the last day of the month preceding the month in which service will cease. (Please note that PharmaCare cannot make capitation payments for partial months.)
Requests for another pharmacy to provide service
If an existing facility intends to enter into a contract with a different pharmacy, the new pharmacy must
LTC facilities may be evacuated due to fires, floods, or other natural disasters, and residents temporarily relocated to other LTC facilities across the province.
Continuity of care is crucial during this disruption, and PharmaCare will support the work of community pharmacies to assist evacuated residents, regardless of the Plan B status of their home facility.
|The facility a person is normally residing in
|The pharmacy that provides services to the home facility
|The facility a person is evacuated to
|The pharmacy that provides services to the receiving facility
Long-term care residents who are evacuated from their home facility to a receiving Plan B facility are eligible for and will receive coverage through Plan B.
The receiving pharmacy will provide services for the evacuated residents, unless there is express direction otherwise from the receiving facility to establish an alternate arrangement and appoint an additional pharmacy. Note: The additional appointed pharmacy could be the home pharmacy or another pharmacy.
The following directions apply in the absence of an alternate arrangement.
The receiving pharmacy may bill the Plan B capitation fee for each bed occupied by an evacuated resident, including if the bed is only occupied for a partial month.
The receiving pharmacy must notify Health Insurance BC (HIBC) Information Support of the:
The receiving pharmacy must also notify HIBC Information Support of the last date that pharmacy services end for evacuated residents at each receiving facility they provide services to. If requested, HIBC Information Support can provide the name of the home pharmacy, if the home facility is a Plan B facility, to facilitate any transfer of prescriptions and continuity of care.
More than one pharmacy can claim a capitation fee for a bed occupied by the same person in a month if the person is a resident of more than one Plan B facility during the month because of the evacuations. If a person is not a resident in a Plan B facility for an entire month (for example, the resident is not at their home facility for the entire month of September), the pharmacy servicing the home facility cannot bill the capitation fee for that bed for that month since the bed was not occupied.
If the receiving facility has a requirement for a pharmacy other than the receiving pharmacy to dispense to the evacuated residents while they are residing in the receiving facility (e.g., for operational reasons), an alternate arrangement appointing an additional pharmacy (the “additional appointed pharmacy”) must be documented by completing the Additional Appointed Pharmacy for LTC Evacuation Form.
Instructions for completing the form:
If as part of urgent services for evacuated residents, a Plan B facility temporarily exceeds its licensed bed capacity, the pharmacy must notify HIBC of the excess number of beds prior to submitting an invoice for capitation fees. Pharmacies will be eligible for capitation fees for temporary Plan B beds for evacuated residents for the duration of the evacuation only if notice is provided prior to receipt of the invoice.
The receiving pharmacy may need to provide emergency supplies of medications or adapt prescriptions within their scope of practice and following the guidance provided by the College of Pharmacists of BC. This may be necessary when the resident’s home facility is served by a health authority-operated pharmacy under the Hospital Act, due to differences between the Plan B formulary and health authority formularies. The receiving pharmacy may try to adapt prescriptions to Plan B benefits.
Pharmacies are asked to hold the billing for any extra costs to patients until further direction is provided by the receiving facility’s health authority.
Pharmacies are eligible for PharmaCare Clinical Services fees for adaptations for Plan B residents.
If a resident is transferred to a private long term care facility, that is neither registered as a Plan B facility nor receives health authority support, further actions may be required, including emergency temporary Plan B facility registration. In this case, please contact HIBC Information Support.
For more information, visit Patient care during states of emergency and evacuations webpage.
Changes in facility information
Certain changes in facility information require that the local Health Authority issue an amended license to the facility. It is the facility’s responsibility to inform the pharmacy providing services.
The pharmacy must notify Information Support (using the Request for PharmaCare Plan B Services to a Long-Term Care Facility form) if a facility experiences any of the following changes:
Note: A change in ownership does not require an amended license.
>> Contact Information Support at HIBC whenever these changes occur.
Requests for facilities to exit from Plan B
A facility intending to exit from Plan B and transition to another pharmacy provider submitting claims via different PharmaCare plans must give notice to Information Support at HIBC. The termination date must be the last day of a month (end of day) and notice must be given no later than the last day of the month preceding the month in which service will cease. (Please note that PharmaCare cannot make capitation payments for partial months.)
Requests for facilities to re-join Plan B
If a facility previously exited from Plan B and intends to re-join Plan B at a later date, it is the facility’s responsibility to inform the pharmacy providing services. The pharmacy must notify Information Support and: