OPA COVID-19 Vaccines: June 17, 2021 Update and Added Vaccine Incentives
Managed Care Programs Announced Pharmacy Incentives for COVID-19 Vaccine
This week Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Programs announced additional pharmacy incentives through CSS Health and OutcomesMTM platforms. Pharmacists can now engage further with Ohio’s Medicaid population to have meaningful patient interactions answering their questions and administering the COVID-19 vaccines. These added incentives allow for targeted outreach to the Medicaid population so that pharmacists can bring their clinical expertise along with evidence-based information to combat vaccine hesitancy. Ohio Medicaid patients for the following plans are eligible for this incentive:
- Buckeye Health Plan- Medicaid
- CareSource (via CSS Health)
- Molina Medicaid
- Molina Medicaid- COVID-19 Immunization
- Paramount – Medicaid
- UHC Ohio Medicaid
These incentives further emphasize the importance of the community pharmacist in accessibility to patients, particularly in under-vaccinated counties across the state. “Pharmacists are the healthcare providers who are most needed in the effort to vaccinate Ohio’s underreached populations. OPA commends all the managed care organizations for their support of pharmacists through this incentive,” says Stuart Beatty, Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and Director of Strategy and Practice Transformation at Ohio Pharmacists Association.
For specific details about the incentive programs, please see the following press releases: Outcomes(TM) partners with Medicaid plans to help Ohio Medicaid members get vaccinated and CareSource Partners with CSS Health to Help Members Get Vaccinated.
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Extended Vaccine Storage and Surplus
Upon urging from state health departments, including the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the expiration dates for Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines from 3 months to 4.5 months. Pharmacies storing Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines can verify new expiration dates at vaxcheck.jnj. ODH urges vaccinators to use as many doses of the J&J vaccine as possible. See this guidance document on maximizing vaccination opportunities and minimizing wasted doses.
Vaccine Incentives Survey
OPA is working to collect information about vaccine hesitancy and vaccine incentives. All Ohio vaccinators are requested to fill out this COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Incentives Survey by the close of business on Monday, 6/21.
COVID-19 Adolescent Vaccination Rates
Certain counties have reported lower than average vaccination rates for adolescents. A potential reason for the lowered rate is a limited number of providers offering the Pfizer vaccine in certain counties. Vaccinating adolescents is essential in preparation for the 2021-22 academic year. Vaccinating this population is crucial for Ohio to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall and winter. The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized for use in patients ages 12-15. With expanded storage and handling requirements for the Pfizer vaccine, vaccinators are encouraged to consider ordering the Pfizer vaccine through the Vaccine Ordering Management System (VOMS). To order through VOMS, vaccinators will need to log into ImpactSIIS (www.ohioimpactsiis.org) and use their user name and password.
Helpful State Vaccine Resources and Information
The following resources are helpful for vaccinators to contact ODH regarding vaccine shipments:
- COVID Vaccine Provider Call Center: 1-844-963-4829 (The ODH Provider Call Center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and is no longer open on weekends)
- COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Resources website
- ImpactSIIS Job Aids and Videos
- ImpactSIIS help desk: email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance or call 1-866-349-0002.
OPA is working diligently to facilitate communication between state decision-makers and member pharmacists. OPA has created multiple COVID-19 resources, including a COVID-19 Vaccine Information Webpage, COVID-19 Testing Hub, and COVID-19 Resources Webpage, on the OPA website www.ohiopharmacists.org under the Resources drop-down box. For further questions, please contact Myriam Shaw Ojeda, Fellow in Policy and Innovation, at email@example.com.