Atlantic Health Partners


Promoting Health Through Vaccine Uptake During the COVID-19 Crisis

June 16, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all facets of the healthcare system, including providers and their patients. Some providers chose to close offices completely, while others rescheduled well visits to future dates. As a result, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) reports that practices cite a 60% decrease in patient volume since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

Now, as providers begin to welcome patients back into their practices, and as patients begin to feel more comfortable returning to the doctor’s office for well visits, there is an opportunity for providers to ensure patients have received the vaccines they need. Given the current health risks associated with the coronavirus, it’s critical that patients have the best defense against vaccine-preventable diseases to maintain their overall health. Below, we highlight several considerations for providers as their patient visits begin to increase.  READ MORE


May 26, 2020

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists and manufacturers are working to develop a new vaccine that will protect against the virus. Though there is urgency surrounding the need for a coronavirus vaccine, there are many steps that go into the research, development, approval and manufacturing of a new vaccine. 

By understanding the vaccine development process, providers can ensure that their patients are well-educated about vaccine development and properly prepare their practices for any new vaccines that become available. READ MORE


The Benefits of Pre-booking Vaccines for the 2020-2021 Flu Season

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there have been at least 19 million flu-related illnesses so far this flu season. Unlike past years where the influenza A virus has dominated the first half of flu season, this year the influenza B virus, or Victoria virus, has been predominant. The unpredictability of this flu season is a reminder for practices that it’s never too early to begin preparation for the next flu season.

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Five changes that will affect physician payment and productivity in 2020 and beyond

As usual, the new year brings changes in how doctors code and get paid for the services they provide to Medicare patients, as described in the Medicare physician fee schedule update. There are a host of things family physicians should know for 2020, as well as some changes to look forward to in 2021. Here are a few highlights:

1. New CPT codes for exchanging messages with patients through a secure online platform, such as an electronic health record portal, which allow time-based reporting of online digital E/M services,

2. New CPT codes for reporting services to develop and support blood pressure treatment plans in which patients measure readings themselves,

3. A new HCPCS code specifically for Medicare that will cover additional 20-minute periods of chronic care management services beyond the initial 20 minutes,

4. Increased payment for transitional care management services and an expansion of the list of services that can be reported concurrently, to include prolonged services, chronic care management services, and others,

5. In 2021: Revised office/outpatient visit codes that will permit physicians to choose the level of service based on either medical decision making or time (not just face-to-face time) alone; an increase in the relative value of these services; and an add-on code for visit complexity that can be used with most primary care visits.

The new Medicare physician fee schedule rule also includes some updates to the Quality Payment Program, the incentive payment program enacted in 2015 with the passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA, to replace the sustainable growth rate method of determining updates to the fee schedule. But unlike past years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services chose to keep many QPP requirements stable from 2019 to 2020.

To learn more about all of the changes, read the full FPM article, available online ahead of print: “The 2020 Medicare Documentation, Coding, and Payment Update.”


ATLANTIC HEALTH PARTNERS EXPANDS ITS PROGRAM TO OFFER ADDITIONAL VACCINE SAVINGS!

Atlantic Health Partners has always been a strong resource for our members’ immunization efforts by offering the most favorable vaccine prices, terms, and purchasing support. We are pleased to share with you that Atlantic has expanded its program with the addition of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) vaccines.  This include options for practices interested in the GSK portfolio or for those practices just interested in using Bexsero (Meningitis B vaccine). 

Atlantic now offers our members the full array of vaccine options to best meet your individual practice needs including:

  • Most favorable pricing for Sanofi, Merck, GSK, and Dynavax vaccines
  • A comprehensive flu program that includes Sanofi, GSK, and Seqirus products
  • Meningoccocal B vaccine options that include both Trumenba or Bexsero
  • No minimum quantity requirements to always receive most favorable pricing and terms
  • Excellent and timely customer service including reimbursement support and advocacy     

For information about the program please contact Jeff or Cindy at 800-741-2044 or info@atlantichealthpartners.com     

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Be Prepared: Protecting Vaccine Supplies Before, During and After a Disaster

The old adage “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” has been used throughout history and it still rings true today.

There’s little room for failure in clinical care. Preparation is an important aspect of everyday practice management and success, and it is never more critical than when a disaster strikes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all practices have a plan in place to keep their vaccine supply safe during an emergency. Common disasters that affect vaccine supply, include national vaccine shortages, as well as severe weather and other events that cause loss of electric power.  

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Workplace Flu Clinics: Encouraging Seasonal Health to Support Year-round Employee Wellness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that American workers miss approximately 17 million workdays due to the flu each year, costing employers $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity.

One way employers can create a healthier workplace is by hosting on-site influenza vaccination clinics in the office.

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Vaccine Record-keeping: A Team Approach for a Healthier Tomorrow

Keeping vaccine records up to date is key to a patient’s lifelong immunity and health. Official childhood vaccination records have been adopted by every state and territory to encourage uniformity, but limited interoperability in healthcare can make recordkeeping a challenge. As a result, responsibility falls on both the patients and providers for managing records throughout the patient’s life.

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