COVID-19 UPDATE
3-15-2021
In an effort to keep our members current on the latest information regarding the coronavirus crisis, the Medical Society of Delaware is sharing the following:
Expanding Vaccine Eligibility to Persons with High and Moderate-Risk Health Conditions (Phase 1C)

In moving to vaccinate more eligible persons, the state and the Division of Public Health (DPH) advise clinicians to expand vaccine delivery to their patients aged 16-64 with conditions that increase the risk for severe illness from SARS-CoV-2. This will be in effect as of Wednesday, March 17th. The conditions reviewed by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the State's Ethics Advisory Group include the following (but not all-inclusive):

Increased (high) risk of severe illness from SARS-CoV-2:
  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Down Syndrome
  • Serious Heart Conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m or higher)
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Current or Former Cigarette Smoker
  • Intellectual or Developmental Disability
  • Severe and Persistent Mental/Behavioral Health Condition
  • Pregnancy

Suspected increased (moderate) risk of severe illness from SARS-CoV-2:
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Thalassemia

Clinicians are advised to use clinical judgment and patient histories to make determinations as to prioritzation of these conditions and deploy vaccine accordingly using the list above as guidance.

Non-paid caregivers who care for persons with high-risk health conditions, especially those who require assistance with activities of daily living (such as meal preparation, dressing, grooming, medication monitoring, transportation and housekeeping), will also be eligible and identified using clinical judgment or guidance from the list above. Clinicians may vaccinate caregivers of their patients to decrease risk of serious illness for their high-risk patients.

Medical providers who are not enrolled in DelVAX to provide COVID-19 Vaccination are asked to refer eligible patients to a Delaware health system.

Medicare Payment Increase for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that the Medicare payment amount for administering the COVID-19 vaccine is increasing, effective for COVID-19 vaccines administered on or after March 15, 2021. The increase to the Medicare payment rates reflects information about the costs involved in administering the vaccine for different types of providers and suppliers (such as including establishing new or growing existing vaccination sites, conducting patient outreach and education, and hiring additional staff), and the additional resources necessary to ensure the vaccine is administered safely and appropriately.

CMS is updating the set of toolkits for providers, states, and insurers to help the health care system swiftly administer the vaccine with these new Medicare payment rates. These resources are designed to help increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine, ensure adequate payment for administering the vaccine to Medicare beneficiaries, and make clear that no beneficiary should pay cost-sharing for the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information and resources regarding COVID-19, MSD has created a coronavirus resource page on our website. View resource page 
Medical Society of Delaware
900 Prides Crossing
Newark, Delaware 19713
(302) 366-1400

You are receiving this communication as a benefit of your membership in the Medical Society of Delaware.