Beginning Friday, May 21, the CMS has new requirements for LTC facilities to educate patients about the COVID-19 vaccine, administer the vaccine, and report data to the CDC. In June, these facilities will begin receiving fines if they do not comply with the new requirements. For pharmacies that already work with local LTC facilities or would like to start a new working relationship, this is a great opportunity to offer your services and assist with education, administration, and reporting of the vaccine. This will help build your LTC relationships and also bring a new stream of revenue to your business.
National Community Pharmacists Association
The FDA has expanded authorization for use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents age 12 to 15. This list of Frequently Asked Questions explains common inquiries about logistics of administering the vaccine, why it is important for this age group to be vaccinated, clinical trial results, and potential vaccine requirements. This authorization expands the percentage of eligible vaccine recipients to about 87% of the US population, including an additional 17 million children.
National Public Radio
The COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund by HRSA is a new program that covers the cost of administering Covid vaccines to underinsured patients. If your pharmacy vaccinates a patient who has insurance but their insurance does not cover the cost of administration, you can submit a claim today. Eligibility for reimbursement is retroactive to December 14, 2020, and you can submit claims through the HRSA Portal, linked below. NOTE: This is different from HRSA’s Uninsured Patients program – this is for patients who do have insurance but their plan does not cover the fees.
Health Resources & Services Administration
As vaccination for COVID-19 is underway, the US is facing an obstacle with vaccine hesitancy. All vaccines currently available are not fully approved by the FDA, but rather have an emergency use authorization (EUA) which will expire once the state of emergency is deemed over. COVID vaccine manufacturers are working to get full FDA approval which will hopefully also increase the willingness of individuals to get the vaccine and get us closer to herd immunity.