Category Archives: News

August is National Immunization Awareness Month!

The National Public Health Information Coalition has created a communications toolkit that you can use in your practice to help promote importance of immunizations.  Use the toolkit to design your own promotions. Mix and match, copy or adapt the contents to fit the particular news and issues of your own organization or community – and share your NIAM activities to inspire others!

CDC Announces New VAERS Reporting Website

From the Immunization Action Coalition: On June 30, CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting (VAERS) website and reporting form that allows people to:
• Easily submit a VAERS report electronically
• Access VAERS data
• Learn more about how CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines

There are now two ways to report an adverse event following vaccination to VAERS:
1. Use the online reporting tool.
2. Complete a paper VAERS form (PDF format) and upload it to the new VAERS website.

By the end of 2017, CDC and FDA will phase out the VAERS paper form and fully transition to the new VAERS 2.0 electronic submission process. Accommodations will be made for persons unable to submit reports electronically. Additional assistance is available via email at info@vaers.org or by phone at (800) 822-7967.

Merck Vaccine Supply Interruptions

Last month, we sent information about some supply interruptions announced by Merck. Please see below for updates to the supply issues, which now include a pediatric vaccine:

  • Adult formulation of Vaqta, a hepatitis A vaccineanticipated return: Q3 2017
  • Adult formulation of RecombivaxHB, a hepatitis B vaccine – anticipated return: Q3 2018
  • Pediatric formulation of RecombivaxHB, a hepatitis B vaccine – anticipated return: Q1-Q2 2018

We understand that some wholesalers may have inventory on hand of pediatric RecombivaxHB; please consider reaching out to your supplier to inquire about availability.

 

Please note that these interruptions do not impact the supply of the pediatric formulation of Vaqta at this time.

During product shortages, CPP does not enforce program purchase requirements for the affected vaccines.  To stay up to date on product availability, refer to the Merck Vaccines Supply Status website.

AAP advocacy leads to change in coding for vaccine administration.

Medically unlikely edits (MUEs) are the daily limit placed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on billed CPT codes and are often used by private payers to reduce the likelihood of coding errors. With the assistance of the Section on Administration and Practice Management (SOAPM) and the Committee on Coding and Nomenclature (COCN), the Academy worked with CMS to update the MUEs associated with the vaccine administration codes 90460 and 90461 based on clinical rationale.

The updates are as follows:

  • Effective April 1, 2017, the MUE for 90460 will go from 6 to 9
  • Effective July 1, 2016, the MUE for 90461 will go from 5 to 8                                          (Since this update was published January 1, 2017 but was effective July 1, 2016, any denials since this date should be appealed.)

If you receive denials for MUEs, email the AAP coding hotline at aapcodinghotline@aap.org.  (Full Article)