Stay up to date on the latest news and information on COVID-19 with resources including latest CDC/WHO/AAFP recommendations, payment information, telemedicine updates, office preparedness updates and more for Family Physicians.
- COVID Vaccinations in Maryland
- Vaccination Sites List
- Maryland Department of Health
- CDC Resources Home
- CDC Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Maryland Department of Public Health for state specific information
- AAFP Resources
- WHO Risk Assessment
- Coronavirus and MDPCP Practices
- The Center for Connected Health Policy – Telehealth Coverage Policies
- CARES Act Provider Relief Fund
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Accelerates Payment Support
- COVID-19 Retirement Guides
- Retire Guide Medicare
Confronting COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation
View shareable resources and the Advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General about COVID-19 misinformation.
View Resources >
Clinical Considerations: Myocarditis and Pericarditis after Receipt of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Among Adolescents and Young Adults
Since April 2021, increased cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in the United States after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), particularly in adolescents and young adults. There has not been a similar reporting pattern observed after receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Updates
The Maryland Department of Health recently released updated guidance for COVID vaccines regarding the Pfizer vaccine provider qualifications and process.
COVID-19 Vaccine Patient Education | Resources to help answer your patients’ questions
Customize and use any of the Encouraging COVID-19 Vaccinations: Sample Patient Education Messages in your patient portal, newsletters or emails.
Use the Debunking Common COVID-19 Vaccine Myths article on familydoctor.org to correct misconceptions your patients might have, like:
- The COVID-19 vaccines were developed too fast to be safe.
- There weren’t enough participants in clinical trials to declare the vaccines safe.
- I won’t need to wear a mask after I am vaccinated.
New MDH COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Guide for Primary Care
In partnership with Maryland Department of Health and Maryland Primary Care Program, we are happy to share the newly developed COVID-19 Vaccine Communication and Outreach Strategies in Primary Care guide and the following message from the MDH Primary Care Vaccine Program Team:
As COVID-19 vaccine demand decreases, it will take more outreach and one-on-one conversations at your practice to work with patients to accept the vaccine. We hope you can use this document as a guide for those initiatives at your practice.
In the document, you’ll find:
- Positive messaging for the COVID-19 vaccine
- Ways to respond to common reasons for vaccine hesitancy
- Outreach strategies for getting people in for vaccine appointments and examples from successful practices
- And more!
SPREAD THE WORD
As of Monday, April 19, 2021, every person 16 years and older in the United States is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You can help spread the word so every adult knows they are now eligible. Use the NEW COVID-19 Community Corps Social Media Toolkit to spread the word about expanded eligibility.
HHS just launched a COVID-19 Public Education Campaign, We Can Do This, which is a national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.
COVID-19 now included in the Immunization Division’s
Vaccine Confidence resources:
- Communicate with Confidence
- Talking with Patients about Vaccines
- A convenient downloadable one-pager of vaccine resources, to help providers talk to patients about vaccines.
- Articles – Videos – Apps – Social Media
- Vaccine Conversations – Vaccine Safety – COVID-19 Vaccines
- Specific Populations – Handouts for Patients/Staff
COVID-19: Revised Clinician Codes Accepted with CS Modifier
Effective March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires Medicare Part B to cover beneficiary cost-sharing for provider visits when a COVID-19 diagnostic test is administered or ordered. CMS updated the list of codes (ZIP) that physicians and non-physician practitioners can use with the Cost-Sharing (CS) modifier.
For dates of service on or after January 1, 2021, through the end of the public health emergency, we’ll accept these codes with the CS modifier:
HCPCS codes G2250, G2251, and G2252
CPT codes 98970, 98971, and 98972 (These replace HCPCS codes G2061 – G2063, which are accepted for services provided in 2020)
CPT codes 98966, 98967, and 98968 are accepted for services with the CS modifier provided on or after March 18, 2020.
More information about cost-sharing: Medicare Fee-For-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (PDF) MLN Matters Article
Home For The Holidays: Governor Hogan Announces New Travel Orders, $180 Million More in Economic Relief
Governor Larry Hogan and state health officials recently took a series of actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season, including new testing and quarantine requirements for travel, and a new public health advisory to limit gatherings. In addition, the governor announced an additional $180 million in emergency economic relief, including more help for bars and restaurants, as well as a boost in the Temporary Cash Assistance benefit.
“Our strongest defense against this virus continues to be the cooperation and the vigilance of the people of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “However, this holiday season could present perhaps our toughest challenge yet. Our message today is simple: you are safer at home for the holidays this year. Making difficult sacrifices during these next few weeks will absolutely help to keep your family, loved ones, and your fellow Marylanders safe.”
CDC Digital Media Toolkit: 2020-21 Flu Season
Help spread the word on the importance of getting a flu vaccine by using the CDC’s recently released digital media toolkit for the 2020-21 flu season. FDA also released multiple reasons why it is important to get your flu vaccine, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Resource for COVID-19: CDC/IDSA Real-Time Learning Network
The American Academy of Family Physicians has been selected by the CDC as a collaborator in the COVID-19 Real-Time Learning Network (RTLN). The RTLN is a collaborative effort led by the Infectious Diseases Society of America to provide access to the latest information on fighting COVID-19 by bringing together the many health care disciplines fighting this pandemic to share resources and best practices, and ultimately decrease the impact of COVID-19 and save lives. The goal of the network is to bring value, support, and guidance to healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients through education, communication and outreach. READ MORE
CMS Announces New Repayment Terms for Medicare Loans Made to Providers During COVID-19
New recoupment terms allow providers and suppliers one additional year to start loan payments
CMS announced amended terms for payments issued under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program as required by recent action by President Trump and Congress. This Medicare loan program allows CMS to make advance payments to providers, which are typically used in emergency situations. Under the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, repayment will now begin one year from the issuance date of each provider or supplier’s accelerated or advance payment. CMS issued $106 billion in payments to providers and suppliers in order to alleviate the financial burden health care providers faced while experiencing cash flow issues in the early stages of combating the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency.
“In the throes of an unprecedented pandemic, providers and suppliers on the frontlines needed a lifeline to help keep them afloat,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “CMS’ advanced payments were loans given to providers and suppliers to avoid having to close their doors and potentially causing a disruption in service for seniors. While we are seeing patients return to hospitals and doctors providing care we are not yet back to normal,” she added.
CMS expanded the AAP Program on March 28, 2020, and gave these loans to health care providers and suppliers in order to combat the financial burden of the pandemic. CMS successfully paid more than 22,000 Part A providers, totaling more than $98 billion in accelerated payments. This included payments to Part A providers for Part B items and services they furnished. In addition, more than 28,000 Part B suppliers, including doctors, non-physician practitioners, and durable medical equipment suppliers received advance payments totaling more than $8.5 billion.
Providers were required to make payments starting in August of this year, but with this action, repayment will be delayed until one year after payment was issued. After that first year, Medicare will automatically recoup 25% of Medicare payments otherwise owed to the provider or supplier for 11 months. At the end of the 11-month period, recoupment will increase to 50% for another 6 months. If the provider or supplier is unable to repay the total amount of the AAP during this time-period (a total of 29 months), CMS will issue letters requiring repayment of any outstanding balance, subject to an interest rate of 4%.
The letter also provides guidance on how to request an Extended Repayment Schedule (ERS) for providers and suppliers who are experiencing financial hardships. An ERS is a debt installment payment plan that allows a provider or supplier to pay debts over the course of 3 years, or, up to 5 years in the case of extreme hardship. Providers and suppliers are encouraged to contact their MAC for information on how to request an ERS. To allow even more flexibility in paying back the loans, the $175 billion issued in Provider Relief funds can be used towards repayment of these Medicare loans. CMS will be communicating with each provider and supplier in the coming weeks as to the repayment terms and amounts owed as applicable for any accelerated or advance payment issued.
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