GNYHA is detailing recent State and Federal COVID-19 vaccine distribution policy updates.
New York State Vaccine Tracker Reporting Update
The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is modifying the frequency of New York State Vaccine Tracker reporting. Effective immediately, providers receiving COVID-19 vaccine no longer need to report daily and must now report to the Vaccine Tracker on both Mondays and Thursdays by 10:00 a.m. The Vaccine Tracker questions will remain the same. However, DOH has clarified for GNYHA that providers must complete the Vaccine Tracker until they deplete their supply for the week and report an on-hand inventory of 0 vaccine doses. Once a provider has reported 0 vaccine doses on hand and if they receive no further allocations, they do not need to continue completing the Tracker until they once again are provided with a supply of vaccine, at which time they should resume submitting responses to the Tracker on the new schedule. Hospitals can submit questions about the Vaccine Tracker to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated DOH Guidance: March 17 Eligibility Expansion
DOH issued updated guidance (attached) to reinforce that starting today, March 17, vaccine eligibility expands to include additional public-facing essential workers:
- Public-facing government and public employees
- Not-for-profit workers who provide public-facing services to New Yorkers in need
- Essential in-person public-facing building service workers
To align with the expanded eligibility, vaccine providers except pharmacies will be permitted to vaccinate any eligible individual (full list here). Pharmacies, however, will continue to focus on individuals over the age of 60, teachers, school staff, and childcare workers, and according to the updated guidance, are now also authorized to vaccinate individuals with eligible comorbidities or underlying conditions.
Medicare COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Fee Increase
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that it is increasing the Medicare payment for COVID-19 vaccine administration. Effective for COVID-19 vaccines administered on or after March 15, 2021, the national average payment rate for physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, and many other immunizers will be $40 to administer each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This is an increase from approximately $28 to $40 for the administration of single-dose vaccines and an increase from approximately $45 to $80 for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines requiring two doses. The exact payment rate for administration of each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will depend on the type of entity that furnishes the service and will be geographically adjusted based on where the service is furnished.