COVID-19 SUPPORT FOR PROVIDERS
NYC REACH has expanded its services for primary care practices during the COVID-19 emergency. NYC REACH Membership is not required to receive the following:
- Guidance on ordering COVID-19 vaccines
- Technical assistance with telehealth
- Support with identification and outreach to high-risk patients
- Updates on potential funding opportunities and policy changes
Read below to learn more. NYC REACH Members are entitled to these services in addition to their current support.
REGISTER TO ORDER VACCINES
- COVID vaccines are ordered through the Citywide Immunization Registry. If your practice does not have a CIR account for each site at which you administer vaccines, complete enrollment online. Click here for instructions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about how to join. Email email@example.com if you have already joined but need a password reset.
- Log into CIR and complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement (VPAS) to enroll your practice in the COVID-19 vaccination program (instructions here). Note that there are two components to VPAS: Section A, which covers the entire practice, and Section B, which must be completed once for each practice site. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about VPAS.
- The site contact who completed VPAS will be notified of their approved application in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program.
- Log into the Citywide Immunization Registry
- Click the VIM/COVID icon at the top of the screen, and then click on the yellow Order COVID-19 Vaccine tab. If you have already ordered the number of vaccine doses you pre-booked, you will need to increase your pre-book before you can submit a new order. You must also reconcile your COVID-19 vaccine inventory before you can place a new order – more detailed instructions available here
- Remember: vaccine orders should be submitted two weeks in advance, no later than Friday at 5pm. You are more likely to be allocated vaccine if you are on track to use 98% of your doses on hand. Email email@example.com with any questions about COVID vaccine orders.
- Make sure your inventory is accurate in CIR – keep an eye out for any discrepancies. You can use CIR’s Vaccine Transaction Report as well as your EHR’s reporting to help reconcile.
- If your practice needs to transfer your vaccine supply to another provider, complete the New York State request form. When the request is approved, you must additionally document the transfer in the CIR. Prior to executing a transfer request, determine how you will you deliver or pick up the doses.
FINDING AN APPOINTMENT
- Select New York City vaccination sites offer walk-in vaccinations. Find a site here.
- To schedule an appointment, New Yorkers can visit www.nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or 877-829-4692.
- To schedule an appointment for a patient, providers can call 877-829-4692 and press 2 at the second prompt.
- If you would like NYC REACH to help you set up an appointment for yourself or your staff, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number and the subject line “Request to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.”
UPDATE: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Vaccine Outreach and Counseling Program (VOCP) ended on December 31, 2021. Providers may continue to bill for vaccine counseling encounters so long as the encounter occurred before December 31, 2021.
We are pleased to report that COVID-19 vaccine counseling is now covered by New York State (NYS) Medicaid for people ages 5 years and older who have not received any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., not applicable to additional dose or booster counseling). Please refer to NYS Medicaid guidance for COVID-19 Vaccine Counseling here.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Vaccine Outreach and Counseling Program (VOCP) was launched in the fall of 2021. The program pays managed care assigned primary care providers for proactive calls to counsel unvaccinated patients from a list supplied by the health plan. VOCP was started in partnership with seven health insurance companies at a time when COVID-19 vaccine counseling was not reimbursable for providers. The program recognized that a health care provider’s strong recommendation for vaccination is one of the most promising ways to get every eligible person vaccinated.
The Medicaid coverage is more expansive than the VOCP program. Read a letter from Dr. Michelle Morse, chief medical officer, NYC Health Department to learn:
- Five key differences between NYS Medicaid reimbursement of vaccine counseling services and the City’s VOCP program
- Billing guidance for providers currently conducting vaccine counseling
- Note: The Medicaid benefit (Medicaid-funded) and the VOCP Program (city-funded) will co-exist until December 31, 2021.
On September 9, 2021 the NYC Health Department launched the Vaccine Outreach and Counseling Program to reimburse primary care providers for reaching out to patients to encourage vaccination against COVID-19.Through this program the NYC Health Department has partnered with Medicaid and Medicare Advantage health plans to compensate providers who reach out to eligible patients, counsel them about the importance of vaccination, and help arrange vaccination. Eligible patients include those on your panel who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 and are residents of New York City. Please note, although patients ages 5 – 11 are eligible for certain COVID-19 vaccines, they are not considered eligible for this program.
Please read all the details of the program in the Provider Toolkit. Eligible patient lists for the program are shared with Managed Care Organization-assigned primary care providers (PCPs) only. These PCPs can do the counseling directly or delegate to a team member. Providers can only bill for the patients that were assigned to them by the health plan and for whom they performed a Complete Counseling Session according to Provider Toolkit and Managed Care Organization guidance. See below for a list of useful resources for this program.
- Program requirements are outlined in the toolkit.
- View the billing guide for the Vaccine Outreach and Counseling Program.
- Access each health plan’s guide to the Vaccine Outreach and Counseling Program with these links:
- For questions, call the Provider Access Line at 866-692-3641.
If you need assistance beyond the resources listed above, please contact email@example.com.
Review the COVID-19 Vaccine Coding Guide for supply codes and administration codes based on which dose or booster you administer. This guide was last updated on November 12, 2021. Contact your NYC REACH representative or your individual plans for more information.
Earlier this year, small practices and independent pharmacies were able to order pre-packaged PPE kits through participating distribution partners. At this time, small practices or independent pharmacies can order PPE directly from the NYC PPE Service Center to support organizational daily PPE need with some limitations.
To apply for an account with the NYC PPE Service Center, please complete the registration form.
Once completed, your eligibility will be confirmed and an account will be created for your organization. Staff who will need access to the account should be listed in the contact section of the form. Staff will receive their account information (username and temporary password) in an email from Medline. For those who sign up for an account, additional information about placing orders will be sent and a training will also be held in a few weeks. Please be sure to check spam or junk mail folder. You will be notified if there are any issues in setting up the account.
Once you receive your account information, you are encouraged to place your requests immediately on Medline.com. However, we want to make you aware of the following:
- The requested products ordered need to be used within a 1-2 month period of ordering it.
- Small quantities of the following PPE items will automatically show up in your shopping cart: isolation gowns, N95, masks/respirators, nitrile gloves, surgical masks, face shields, bouffant caps, boot covers, goggles, and hand sanitizer. Note: Nitrile Gloves should only be ordered from the PPE Service Center if there is an emergency need at your facility.
- You may order no more than once a month for your facility. It’s likely that even the smallest quantities available will last your practice a few months.
- The City reserves the right to charge for-profit entities for the PPE they order, but exceptions will likely be made for small practices or independent pharmacies. PPE is priced at or below market rates.
- All requests will continue to be subject to review and approval by NYC.
If you are having issues accessing your account, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have general questions about the PPE Service Center, please reach out to PPEsupport@health.nyc.gov.
NYC REACH practice facilitators can assist your practice with workflows and best practices for identifying and contacting patients vulnerable to COVID-19. If your practice is unable to conduct patient outreach, NYC REACH operates a patient call center that can help. Bilingual staff can inform patients about services available at your practice, provide general information about COVID-19, and assess needs and provide resources for medications, food, housing, health care access, and mental health. Note: Practices must have NYC REACH membership to receive support from the patient call center. Contact us to learn how to become a member.
Clinical Decision Support for COVID-19 Vaccination
EHR systems require different steps to configure the Clinical Decision Support tool for COVID-19 vaccination alerts. View the guides we have compiled for multiple EHRs on how to set up these alerts.
Creating Patient Lists by Age with eClinicalWorks Registry (PDF)
Follow this guide to generate a list of patients by age using the eClinicalWorks Registry and send messages to those patients through eCW to inform them about the vaccine.
Creating Patient Lists by Condition with eClinicalWorks Registry (PDF)
Follow this guide to generate a list of patients by condition using the eClinicalWorks Registry and send messages to those patients through eCW to inform them about the vaccine.
Guidance is continuously being updated as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Please visit the websites below to find the latest information as soon as it is released. NYC REACH staff are working remotely and will continue to provide remote support for your organization. If you have any general questions or questions about our programs, please contact your NYC REACH specialist as usual or email email@example.com.
WEBSITES AND NEWS ALERTS:
- NYC Health Department COVID-19 information for providers: Visit this page regularly for the latest information about COVID-19 and how New York City providers should prepare for, test, and handle cases. Resources on this page include webinars, previously released HAN alerts, posters, and more.
- Sign up for the NYC Health Department’s Health Action Network (HAN) alerts to receive updates via email. To sign up for alerts:
- Visit the Health Action Network website here
- Select “Subscribe to HAN”
- Enter the appropriate information and press the “Subscribe” button at the bottom of the page
- NYC Health Department COVID-19 resources for health care facilities
- The Center for Disease Control’s website for Health Professionals
- Letter to Providers: COVID-19 Test and Trace Corps (July 7)
- New York State Department of Health Advisory: Ensuring Access to Health Care Services During COVID-19 (May 19)
- Clinical Decision Support for COVID-19 Vaccination
- EHR systems require different steps to configure the Clinical Decision Support tool for COVID-19 vaccination alerts. View the guides we have compiled for multiple EHRs on how to set up these alerts.
- COVID-19 Testing Instructions for Pharmacists
- Personal Protective Equipment and Medical Supply Companies
- NYC Health Map
- NYC Health Department guidance for all New Yorkers
- NYC Health Department Provider Access Line: 866-692-3641. This line is for health care providers only.
- COVID-19 Health Care Provider Update July 10 (covers multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children & resources for older adults)
Small Practice Financial Support Programs (PDF, March 29, 2021)
Multiple entities are offering financial aid and relief to health care providers. NYC REACH has compiled a running list of funding opportunities for which your practice(s) may be eligible, including loans, grants, payer-based relief, and additional opportunities. NYC REACH will continue to post updated versions of this PDF as changes develop.
Provider Relief Fund Resources
- Provider Relief Fund Overview and Access Guide (PDF, November 2, 2020)
- Provider Relief Fund FAQ for NYC Providers (PDF, November 2, 2020)
Recorded Webinar: No-Cost Legal Support for Small Practices & Non-Profit Health Centers (June 25, 2020)
Watch this recording of a live webinar to learn how providers can benefit from free legal services through the Small Business Legal Relief Alliance (SBLRA). The webinar also covers updates to business laws relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following information is current as of November 23, 2020:
Through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the federal government has made funding available to reimburse providers for COVID-19 testing and treatment, regardless of insurance status. Providers can seek reimbursement for COVID-19 testing and testing-related visits, as well as treatment for uninsured individuals with a COVID-19 diagnosis, for dates of service on or after February 4, 2020. The same program will reimburse providers for administering COVID-19 vaccines, when available, to uninsured patients.
How it works: Providers enroll in the program and submit claims for reimbursement electronically. Providers are generally reimbursed at Medicare rates based on the Medicare fee schedule. Testing and testing-related visits are eligible for reimbursement for all uninsured patients. Treatment costs are eligible for reimbursement if the patient tests positive for COVID-19, and if COVID-19 is the primary diagnosis.
For each claim, providers must attest that:
- They checked coverage eligibility and confirmed that the patient is uninsured
- They will accept the defined program reimbursement as payment in full
- They will not balance bill patients
- They agree to the program terms and conditions
Covered services include:
- Specimen collection, diagnostic and antibody testing
- Testing-related visits including in office, urgent care or emergency room settings or via telehealth
- Treatment, including office visits (including via telehealth), emergency room, outpatient/observation, and others (see website for complete list)
- FDA-approved vaccine, when available
New York University, in collaboration with NYC REACH, surveyed health care providers, most of whom practiced in small primary care practices, to assess their needs and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was conducted in six waves between April 10 and July 23, 2020, to track how challenges evolved and how practices and providers adapted. The documents below include key findings from each wave of the survey. NYC REACH uses this information to advocate and seek support for practices.
Wave 1 Report (Fielded April 14 – April 23)
Wave 2 Report (Fielded April 24 – May 7)
Wave 3 Report (Fielded May 8 – May 21)
Wave 4 Report (Fielded May 22 – June 4)
Wave 5 Report (Fielded June 5 – June 18)
Wave 6 Report (Fielded July 14 – July 23)