Monday, January 27, 2014

Continue Seasonal Flu Vaccination through January and Beyond

Seasonal influenza activity is increasing in parts of the United States and is expected to continue to increase across the country in the coming weeks. As long as flu viruses are circulating, flu vaccine can still offer protection. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges individuals not yet vaccinated to get their flu vaccine now. With each office visit, health care professionals should continue to assess patient vaccination status. For patients who haven’t received the seasonal flu vaccine, encourage vaccine usage by discussing the benefits and importance of flu vaccination, offer to vaccinate, or refer to a vaccine provider when appropriate.

As a reminder, generally, Medicare Part B covers one influenza vaccination and its administration each influenza season for Medicare beneficiaries without co-pay or deductible. Note: The influenza vaccine is not a Part D-covered drug.

  • MLN Matters® Article #MM8433, “Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances - Annual Update for 2013-2014 Season.”
  •  MLN Matters® Article #SE1336, “2013-2014 Influenza (Flu) Resources for Health Care Professionals.”
  • While some providers may offer flu vaccines, those that don’t can help their patients locate flu vaccines within their local community. The HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a free online service where users can search for locations offering flu and other adult vaccines.
  •  Free Resources can be downloaded from the CDC website including prescription-style tear-pads that will allow you to give a customized flu shot reminder to patients at high-risk for complications from the flu.

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