A bi-weekly newsletter from your physician organization
Friday, March 26, 2021
Michigan expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, opens more sites
Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine recently expanded to more populations in Michigan as officials also ease some of the state's restrictions on public gatherings and more.

On March 22, the state opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people 50 years and older and people aged 16+ with disabilities and/or medical conditions, as well as their caregiver family members and guardians. And beginning April 5, all Michigan residents 16 years and older will be eligible for the COVID vaccine.

Michigan is partnering with FEMA to offer a mass vaccination site at Ford Field. Pre-registration is available through Meijer - click here for information or text EndCOVID to 75049. Once someone is registered, they will receive a call or text to then schedule their appointment. Six thousand vaccines are planned to be given every day for eight weeks at the clinic, which opened March 24.

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services recommends the following options to schedule vaccine appointments:

  • Register with a health system.
  • Register with a local health department - find a county location here.
  • Some local pharmacies are offering the vaccine at select stores, including Meijer, Rite Aid, Kroger.
  • Residents who don't have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TIP: It is recommended to register at more than one vaccine option.
Insurance payers extends COVID-19 coverage
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many insurance payers are updating and/or extending COVID-19 coverage for patients.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are extending the time frame for waiving a member's cost share for COVID-19 treatment through Sept. 30, 2021. The payers will also continue to cover physician-approved testing and associated services, per federal public health emergency guidelines. Coverage applies to Blue Cross, BCN, Medicare Plus Blue, BCN Advantage and Medigap plans.

Blue Cross also expanded coverage updates relating to the COVID-19 vaccine. While the vaccine is provided at no cost to all Americans, administration fees can be charged. Blue Cross Commercial and Medicare Advantage members will not be charged an administration fee. Click here for more details. For additional Blue Cross updates related to the pandemic, click here.

Priority Health is also not charging members any fees for the COVID-19 vaccine administrations. Click here for billable codes and reimbursement rates.

Health Alliance Plan is waiving cost-sharing on tests, test-related visits and telehealth services related to COVID-19 through April 21, 2021. Patients should check with their individual coverage plans for additional coverage/costs.
New Affiliate Partner helps with practice marketing
Ready to get the word out about your practice services? Need to update your website? The Physician Alliance's newest Affiliate Partner offers full service solutions for practice marketing needs.
 
4MJ Social is a local marketing agency focused on building medical practice brands and getting patients in the door. 4MJ Social's services include, but are not limited to:

  • Website development
  • Reputation management
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • 'Google My Business' management
  • Digital ad design and management
  • Email marketing
  • And more...

The Physician Alliance members receive:
4 healthcare predictions from a risk management expert
As healthcare organizations continue to grapple with challenges highlighted by COVID-19, a closer examination of our insights leads us to make these four predictions about the upcoming risks healthcare leaders will face:
 
Prediction 1: Emerging practices generate new risks
Despite an overwhelming consensus about the need to improve patient care and reduce risks, change is not happening as collectively as necessary. Indeed, the rapid development of new technologies and procedures is creating new areas of risk. A good example is seen in electronic health records (EHRs).
 
Prediction 2: Data becomes the fix, not the headache
The past 10 years have been challenging for an already overextended healthcare workforce. Bottom-line pressures have included rising litigation costs and more stringent reimbursement mandates. Ongoing crises, loss of patient trust, and less-than-optimal IT systems have created stress and burnout among front-line clinicians and staff.
 
The good news is that healthcare leaders can use existing tools to generate, package, and learn from data to motivate positive action. Looking to the future, it will be critical to engage beyond the day to day to rise above the persistent risks that challenge safe, high-quality care.
 
Prediction 3: Telehealth’s rise leads to diagnostic error risks
The ability to conduct remote conversations and some level of physical examination has been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, and telehealth is expected to grow exponentially. As the shift to telehealth continues, however, risks may come to the surface. These might include an overreliance on technology, failure to appropriately document care, the diagnosis of clinical conditions without an in-person encounter, and lack of a traditional clinical evaluation.
 
Prediction 4: Value-based care becomes more prevalent
COVID-19 is accelerating the shift to value-based care, as budgets face new and sizable constraints at all levels. Federal government funding that was used to support the economy during the pandemic will exacerbate existing deficits and further increase pressure to reduce future healthcare costs, which will affect the commercial healthcare market. In a shrinking economy, employers and consumers will become much more aggressive about finding better ways to manage their healthcare spending—and thus accelerate the movement toward value.

Source: Robert Hanscom, vice president, risk management and analytics, Coverys. One of TPA's Affiliate Partners, Coverys, rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best, is the largest medical malpractice insurer in Michigan, serving over 3,000 physicians and 60 healthcare facilities.
 
COPYRIGHTED: Article used with permission from Coverys—a leading provider of medical professional liability insurance offering innovative solutions, analytics, education, and resources to help reduce distractions so healthcare providers can focus on patients. Visit coverys.com for more information. This article includes general risk management guidelines for information purposes. It is not intended and should not be taken as legal or medical advice.
The latest healthcare news
Ways you can save
Featured Affiliate Partner: MORTGAGE & BANKING SERVICES - Huntington Bank offers a special mortgage program to physicians and residents looking to buy or refinance a home. No PMI, pre-payment penalty, or residency restrictions, plus a discount on closing costs. Special banking rates also available to members.

Learn more about this partner.