January 07, 2021
Latest On Priority Access to COVID-19 Vaccine for Ohio HME Providers

OAMES has received a number of inquiries from members this week about Ohio’s phases 1A and 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination plan, specifically how to get access to the vaccine for their personnel. 

This is a fluid situation but the following outlines the best information we have today:

You may recall OAMES sent a letter Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud last month requesting HME providers be included in phase 1A distribution of the vaccine.  We received a follow-up call from the Governor’s office soon after that they are considering this request. 

We’ve been in touch again this week to follow-up on the request and provided additional details based on their questions.  Ideally, we have requested that all staff at HME companies have the opportunity to be vaccinated given the risk to your operations, however, they are prioritizing vaccines for the front-line personnel working directly with patients – for HME providers, this generally includes clinicians, therapists, drivers/delivery personnel, sales/service staff etc.

Until we have a response to our 1A status request from the State, we are advising members to work with your county or city health departments.  Some departments have an online scheduling process such as Franklin County Public Health form.  While HME providers are not listed specifically, you may have success checking the “Home Health Workers” provider type. Bottom-line, whether online or by phone, explain the role of your organization and ask for assistance.  We’ve had some members have success getting the vaccine while others are getting push-back.  There is no uniformity from county to county.  For HME providers who are hospital-based, you are asked to work directly with your health system to get access to the vaccine.   

In an update by Governor Mike DeWine and ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff earlier this week, they announced that due to continued, restricted availability, the vaccine will be distributed in the phased approach with Phase IA currently underway that includes approximately 1 million Ohioans. It is anticipated that vaccine distribution in Phase 1B will begin as Phase 1A begins to wind down.  In total, Phase 1B includes an estimated 2.2 million people in Ohio.  They reported that Ohio is currently receiving roughly 100,000 vaccines each week, although that number could increase if more vaccines are approved for administration. 

The State of Ohio’s COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard is now live, and displays the most recent data reported to ODH regarding the number of individuals that have started and completed the COVID-19 vaccination series by various demographics and county of residence. This dashboard is available on the Ohio Department of Health’s website here and will be updated daily.

Click here for the latest COVID-19 Update from OAMES consultant The Fitzgibbon Group with additional details about Ohio’s vaccination distribution plan.

As soon as we receive a response from the Governor’s office regarding 1A status decision for HME providers, we’ll contact our members.  Continue to work locally with health officials and if you have any information that OAMES should be aware of, any concerns or positive developments, please contact Kam Yuricich in the office.

Oames 2020 Sponsors Logo Block