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Ministry of Health

Medical Device Distributors Online Claims Access to PharmaNet

Medical Device Distributors - Definition
Overview of PharmaNet Service
Purpose of PharmaNet Service
Register for Claims Access to PharmaNet
PharmaNet Access Software Vendor Selection
Compliance Standards
Support

Medical Device Distributors - Definition

For PharmaCare purposes, a medical device distributor is a manufacturer or authorized distributor of medical devices and their related products (such as replacement parts and supplies). Medical device distributors are not licensed to sell drugs of any kind, and they are not bound by the B.C. College of Pharmacists bylaws. They may sell their products either directly to the patient or to an authorized re-seller such as a pharmacy or medical supply store. To participate in PharmaCare, a medical device distributor must have signed an agreement with PharmaCare. Medical device distributors are granted limited access to PharmaNet.

Overview of PharmaNet Service

PharmaNet is a secure computer network that links pharmacies, hospitals, medical practitioners and certain approved medical suppliers throughout the province. By allowing B.C. health care providers controlled computer access to their clients' medication profiles, PharmaNet can:

  • protect British Columbians from potentially dangerous medication interactions and duplications;
  • help limit prescription fraud and drug abuse; and
  • process patient claims for eligible drugs and medical supplies promptly and securely.
PharmaNet complies with the province's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.


PharmaNet Access Restrictions

To comply with the terms of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RSBC 1996) and Personal Information Protection Act (SBC 2003 C. 63), access to PharmaNet will be granted only to sites located in British Columbia.

Any online PharmaNet claim must be processed by the B.C. site (that is, it cannot be processed remotely from another location) and any personal information derived from that claim, rather than directly from the patient, must remain in British Columbia.

These restrictions are needed to ensure patient privacy is protected according to B.C. legislation.

Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet

With access to PharmaNet's secure computer network, each registered medical device distributor can submit electronic claims for eligible devices and supplies and have them processed almost immediately.

Allowable Medical Device Distributor Transactions

Medical device distributor (MDD) claims processing transactions are limited to:

  1. adjudicating claims - submitting claims for evaluation and processing;
  2. viewing the details of previous MDD transactions at their site;
  3. viewing various claims totals, such as daily totals for the store; and
  4. inputting a personal health number (PHN) to verify that the claim is submitted for the correct person.

MDDs will not be able to:

  1. update a patient's personal information such as keywords, address, or profile information;
  2. create PHNs;
  3. view prescriber information;
  4. enter in a partial name and retrieve a list of similar names;
  5. view drug monograph information provided by First Data Bank for use by health professionals;
  6. modify or view PharmaCare eligibility records; or
  7. process a patient's request for their PharmaNet record.

Purpose of PharmaNet Service

Electronic claims processing speeds up and simplifies claims processing. By connecting to PharmaNet, medical device distributors:

  • receive immediate information on the portion of a claim to be paid by the patient and the portion (if any) covered by PharmaCare;
  • do not need to complete and submit paper forms; and
  • receive prompt payment for eligible claims (real time adjudication versus two to three weeks processing time for manual claims).

Register for Claims Access to PharmaNet

As part of the registration process for claims access to PharmaNet, please ensure that you meet all conditions and fulfill all requirements in the Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet - Policies & Procedures [ PDF 3.3M] [ Word 3.4M].

Before being connected to PharmaNet, medical device distributors must complete the following forms:

  • Acknowledgement of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures for Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet (HLTH 4551);
  • Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet Undertaking of Confidentiality by Manager (HLTH 4549); and
  • Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet Undertaking of Confidentiality by Authorized Person (HLTH 4550).

Each person who signs a form should have read the following documents:

Acknowledgment of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures

The Acknowledgement of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures for Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet form [HLTH 4551, PDF 142K] must be completed then signed by:

  • the chief executive officer or other senior officer of the medical device distributor;
  • the manager of the distributor site; and
  • two witnesses.

The original should be sent to:

Health Data Access, Research & Stewardship
Information Management and Knowledge Services Branch

Ministry of Health 2-1, 1515 Blanshard Street
Victoria BC V8W 3C8

Fax: 250 952-1119
Phone: 250 952-1234

A signed copy of the form must be retained on file at the distributor site.

Note: By signing, the chief executive officer or other senior officer and the manager of the distributor site are acknowledging the medical device distributor's (MDD) agreement to ensure confidentiality provisions are in place regarding MDD access to PharmaNet.


Confidentiality undertaking by the medical device distributor site's manager

The Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet Undertaking of Confidentiality by Manager form [HLTH 4549, PDF 142K] must be completed and signed by:

  • the manager of the distributor site, and
  • one witness.

A signed copy of the form must be retained on file at the distributor site.

Note: The manager is responsible for all activities undertaken at the distributor site in relation to PharmaNet.


Confidentiality undertaking by all medical device distributor staff who access PharmaNet

Only authorized medical device distributor staff are allowed to access PharmaNet to process claims. Before accessing PharmaNet, each authorized staff member must complete and sign a Medical Device Distributor Claims Access to PharmaNet Undertaking of Confidentiality by Authorized Person form [HLTH 4550, PDF 131K].

The form must also be signed by the manager who witnesses the staff member's signature.

Each signed and witnessed form must be retained on file at the distributor site.

The form must also be signed by the manager who witnesses the staff member's signature.

Note: All authorized persons must be fully aware that PharmaNet access is under the control of the manager.


Manager and staff training

Every person who will use PharmaNet must be trained by an approved software vendor before they access the system.

PharmaNet Access Software Vendor Selection

A medical device distributor must select a vendor (a.k.a. Software Support Organization - SSO) that has been approved by the ministry to provide PharmaNet-compliant online claims processing software.

A list of approved SSOs is provided on the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia at: www.bcpharmacists.org/library/E-Registration_Licensure/E-3_Pharmacy/5033-Guide-CommunityPcyLicensure_AppA.pdf

Confidentiality undertaking by the medical device distributor's software vendor

There are times when an medical device distributor (MDD) may need a software vendor's help with the installation, testing, maintenance or repair of the PharmaNet-related hardware or software.

Before the MDD manager allows any software vendor technician or staff to access PharmaNet, he/she must obtain a completed and signed Medical Device Distributor - Software Vendor PharmaNet Third Party Confidentiality Undertaking form [HLTH 4552, PDF 125K].

This document must be signed by:

  • the vendor's authorized representative;
  • the technician who will have access to PharmaNet at the distributor site; and
  • the manager of the distributor site.

Each signature must be witnessed. A person may witness more than one signature, but must sign for each signature they witness.

A form must be completed for every technician who will have access to PharmaNet.

Each signed form must be retained on file at the distributor site.

Compliance Standards

Both medical device distributor’s and software vendors must adhere to the PharmaNet professional and software compliance standards for community pharmacies. These standards are set forth in the Common Volumes and Volumes 2 and 3 (Pharmacy) of the Compliance Standards Documentation for PharmaNet.

Support

For further information or to register, please contact the Ministry of Health.

Helpdesk:
Victoria: 250 952-1234
Toll-free:1 888 764-2323

Email: hlth.hnetconnection@gov.bc.ca