A bi-weekly newsletter from your physician organization
Friday, January 29, 2021
COVID-19 vaccine updates for patients and practice staff
As the state of Michigan opens the COVID-19 vaccine roll out plan to more residents, vaccine supply has not kept up with demand. While logistics are being worked out at the state and federal levels, people can take steps to get on a waiting list for the vaccine.

Here are some tips to provide to patients eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Check vaccine eligibility at Michigan's coronavirus website.
  • Most health systems, including Ascension, are only providing vaccines to their patients at this time. Encourage patients to be enrolled in their health system's patient portal. As vaccine supplies allow, health systems will contact patients to schedule a vaccine appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted.
  • Remind patients to check email/text for messages regarding the vaccine appointment.
  • Many vaccination sites are using automated phone calls to reach out to patients, so consider answering unfamiliar phone numbers.
  • Local health departments and Meijer pharmacy are accepting registrations for the vaccine. Patients will then receive an invitation via email or text message when they can schedule a vaccine appointment.
  • Patients should NOT receive any other vaccine 14 days before/after their COVID-19 vaccine (first and second dose).

Vaccinating healthcare workers:
Physicians and practice staff who didn't get vaccinated during health system clinics can contact their local health departments for appointments. Ascension indicated additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics for healthcare workers will be available in the future, however, there are no dates yet set. The Physician Alliance will share information on future vaccine clinics when/if it becomes available.
Prepare patients and practices for the COVID-19 vaccine
The release of the COVID-19 vaccine will help get the pandemic under control. However, there has been confusion and uncertainty around the vaccine, leading to people declining the vaccine. Physician practices play a critical role in helping educate patients on vaccine facts.

The state created a wealth of communication materials promoting the safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine. Practices can help educate patients by sharing these materials. Examples include:

The New England Journal of Medicine released a comprehensive FAQ on the COVID-19 vaccines. Quick read topics range from patient instructions to preparing your practice to give vaccines to what you must report as a vaccine provider.
Flu and other vaccine prices to increase - reserve today
Prices on common vaccinations will increase in February. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Merck announced national price increases on their vaccines, beginning Feb. 1, 2021.

The Physician Alliance practices can receive discounted prices on vaccinations through the newest Affiliate Partner, Atlantic Health Partner. Their vaccine purchasing program provides discounted pricing from all major manufacturers and annual rebates to TPA members. Learn more about benefits and how to enroll here.
Educate patients on heart healthy lifestyles
February is American Heart Month and a great time to talk to patients about cardiovascular health, managing blood pressure, cholesterol control and diabetes care. There are great resources available to help engage patients in improving their health.

The Physician Alliance created handouts to help educate patients on heart healthy topics. View some of the topics below and visit the Learning Institute to see more.

  • Patient healthy lifestyle self management form (17 years and under)
  • Patient healthy lifestyle self management form (18 years and older)
  • Patient heart failure self management goals form
  • Accurately measuring blood pressure (for practices) poster
  • Tips for lowering & taking blood pressure pad (with patient tracking sheet) handout*
  • Patient diabetes self management form
  • Patient diabetes action plan form
  • 6 ways to manage your diabetes poster
  • 6 tips for lowering diabetes risk poster

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's hypertension toolkit provides a variety of resources for healthcare providers, including social media graphics/templates, fact sheets and more.

The American Heart Association also offers many free handouts focusing on important topics, including cholesterol, nutrition and well-being, caregiver support and more. Many of the handouts are available in Spanish.
The latest healthcare news
Ways you can save
Featured Affiliate Partner: MEDICAL ANSWERING SERVICES - Ambs Call Center offers multiple services to practices, including answering services, free web on-call app, secure online messages and text messaging, and more! TPA practices receive first month free and additional discounts.

Learn more about this partner.