Medical Director Lisa Scarfo, MD discusses the importance of routine medical services that have been deferred due to the pandemic. One of these medical services is immunizations, which have decreased significantly since the pandemic began.
Decreased vaccination rate
As a result of the pandemic, telehealth and telephonic visits have soared, and providers are continuing to find creative ways to deliver services to their patients. One significant impact of the pandemic and virtual care is the marked decrease in vaccination rates for children. Although children may be receiving needed care and parents/guardians may be receiving counseling and anticipatory guidance regarding their growth, development and medical conditions, vaccines are an essential medical service that cannot be given via telehealth/telephonic means. The CDC has the latest statistics regarding this downward trend.
And don’t forget: influenza season is right around the corner, so we urge you to take every opportunity to promote Influenza vaccination and provide this vital service as soon as the vaccine is available in your area.
National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so the CDC is offering a wealth of resources for providers to help improve parental vaccine acceptance and adoption. These include a social media toolkit, educational resources for parents, the #HowIRecommend video series for providers, and more.
Resources from AllWays Health Partners and Mass General Brigham
AllWays Health Partners gives participating providers access to AllWays on Teams, a telehealth platform offered in partnership with Microsoft. We launched AllWays Health Partners on Teams in March to help providers deliver safe care to their patients during the pandemic. It’s been so successful that we’ll continue offering it after the state of emergency ends.
AllWays Health Partners on Teams and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts have enabled you to address your patients' needs. We also want to remind you that vaccine administration may be separately reimbursable when provided after a preventive telemedicine visit and on a different day. You can find details in our Provider Payment Guidelines.
In addition, Mass General Brigham has launched the Safe Care Commitment. Visit the Mass General Brigham website to learn more about how they are protecting providers, patients, and families.