MSSNY eNews: June 16, 2021 – MSSNY Press Statement: New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization


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MSSNY Press Statement: New York State Reaches 70 Percent Adult COVID-19 Immunization
Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force Member and NYS Medical Society Immediate Past President Bonnie L. Litvack, MD, Reflects on Reaching Important Milestone and Calls for Continued Vaccination Efforts

Statement from Bonnie Litvack, MD
Immediate Past President, Medical Society of the State of New York
Member, Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force 

“As of today, 70 percent of the adult population in New York have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we hit this important milestone, I am reminded of the resilience, the resolve, and the forbearance of my fellow New Yorkers. We were once at the epicenter of the pandemic and now—in true New York fashion—we have pulled together, stayed strong, and achieved 70 percent immunity.

“When Governor Cuomo established the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force in September 2020 to advise and set up operations for the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program, it was my hope—and that of the entire Task Force—that we would one day achieve this important milestone.

“But the fight is not over. My hope going forward is that as cases continue to decrease, more New Yorkers will see what can happen when we work together to get vaccinated.

“As variants increase, it is more important than ever for every eligible citizen to roll up their sleeves—and get the COVID-19 vaccination.”

Statement from Joseph Sellers, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York
“I am extraordinarily proud of my colleague, Dr. Bonnie Litvack, for the important work she has done as a member of the Governor’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force,” said MSSNY President Dr. Joseph Sellers. “I know that her hard work will continue as we aim to get 100 percent of New Yorkers fully vaccinated.”

Press Coverage:
Politico New York (6/15, Young) reports, “The Medical Society of the State of New York touted the vaccination milestone as a reminder of New York’s resiliency.” In a statement, MSSNY immediate past president Bonnie L. Litvack, MD, who is a member of Cuomo’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force, said: “We were once at the epicenter of the pandemic and now – in true New York fashion – we have pulled together, stayed strong, and achieved 70 percent immunity.”

Democrat & Chronicle/USA TODAY Network’s Atlantic Group (6/15, Spector)
New York lifts most COVID restrictions as vaccination rate hits 70%
“Bonnie Litvack, past president of the state Medical Society who served on Cuomo’s vaccine task force, said New Yorkers’ resolve should continue.

“The fight is not over,” she said in a statement.

“My hope going forward is that as cases continue to decrease, more New Yorkers will see what can happen when we work together to get vaccinated. As variants increase, it is more important than ever for every eligible citizen to roll up their sleeves—and get the COVID-19 vaccination.”

AMA Survey Shows Over 96% of Doctors Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19
The American Medical Association (AMA)’s recent survey (PDF) among practicing physicians finds that more than 96 percent of surveyed U.S. physicians have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with no significant difference in vaccination rates across regions. Of the physicians who are not yet vaccinated, an additional 45 percent do plan to get vaccinated.

The national AMA survey is the first to specifically collect data on practicing physicians’ COVID-19 vaccination rates. The survey was conducted June 3–8 and showed an increase of more than 20 percent for physicians who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 compared to a May 2021 Medscape poll.

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Medicare Increases Payments for at Home COVID-19 Vaccination
With an estimated 1.6 million persons 65 and older who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 because of difficulty leaving home, the Biden Administration announced that, in addition to the current payment amount, Medicare will pay an additional amount of $35 per dose for administering the vaccine in the home for certain Medicare patients that have difficulties leaving their homes. The change was made effective June 8.  Medicare will pay the $35 amount in addition to the standard administration amount (approximately $40 per dose), for a total payment of approximately $75 for a single-dose vaccine or $150 for both doses of a 2-dose vaccine. Medicare will also geographically adjust the additional amount and administration rate based on where the vaccine is administered.  For more information: Vaccination administration in the home.

Shelf Life Extended for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
On June 10, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) authorized an extension of the shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen single-shot COVID-19 vaccine (J&J vaccine) from 3 months to 4.5 months (an additional 6 weeks). The decision is based on data from ongoing stability assessment studies, which have demonstrated that the vaccine is stable at 4.5 months when refrigerated at temperatures of 36 – 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 – 8 degrees Celsius).

Vaccine providers that have J&J vaccine in storage should visit and enter the lot number to confirm the latest expiration dates of vaccine, including those currently available for administration throughout the U.S. This extension applies to refrigerated vials of J&J COVID-19 vaccine that have been held in accordance with the manufacturer’s storage conditions.

Mark the vials and carton with the new date displayed and also update the date in the NYSIIS or CIR inventory module.  If you have vaccine in storage that expired prior to June 10, 2021, those vials should be disposed of as medical waste and reported as wastage in NYSIIS/CIR (see NYSIIS wastage reporting guidance here and NYCIR here.

COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized under an EUA do not have fixed expiration dates, and their expiration dates may be extended as the FDA receives and reviews additional stability data.  Please be sure to check the manufacturer’s website to obtain the most up-to-date expiration dates for COVID-19 vaccines you have on hand.

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Join CareClix on June 23 @ Noon for an Overview of Virtual Care Management Program
MSSNY Members receive a discounted rate for implementing CareClix, a virtual telehealth platform that enables you to put your patients first.

Join CareClix for a brief overview of the platform followed by a Q&A session with CareClix’s CEO to answer any questions.


Date: June 23rd, 2021
Time: 12 pm EST


Presenter: Dr. John Korangy, MD, MPH, CEO of CareClix

CareClix’s all-in-one platform lets you deliver an exceptional patient experience that’s convenient for your patients and efficient for you. Allow patients – new and old – to chat straight from your website or mobile app. Increase appointment bookings and capture patient demand 24/7.

Key features that will be demonstrated in the webinar:

  • Messaging
  • Scheduling
  • Appointments
  • Provider Dashboard
  • Virtual Waiting Room
  • 3rd Party Invite
  • Account Settings
  • Setting Up Clinic
  • Setting up Fee and Specialties

Time and Financial Costs for Physician Practices to Participate in the Medicare Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)
The MIPS track of the Medicare Quality Payment Program influences payment for more than 1 million physicians annually. There is growing concern that MIPS increases administrative burden, and little is known about what it costs physician practices to participate. Research published by the Physicians Foundation examines this issue using interviews from December 2019 to June 2020 with leaders of 30 physician practices across the U.S.

  • An average of $12,811 was spent per-physician to participate in MIPS in 2019; small and medium primary care practices had mean per-physician costs of $18,466 and $13,631, respectively.
  • Physicians and administrators spent more than 200 hours per physician on MIPS-related activities.
  • Physician time accounted for the greatest proportion of overall MIPS-related costs with a mean cost of $6,909.
  • Average MIPS-related costs were substantial, totaling $1,111 per physician.

JAMA Network | May 2021 Click here to view the full report.

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