ASH recognizes the special role health professionals play in responding to emergencies and disasters. By preparing in advance, you can help minimize the impact on yourself, your patients, and your practice or institution. Start preparing now by using the links provided below to resources that can assist you in developing your own emergency preparedness plan.
ASH provides this list of resources as a service and is not responsible for the content of external Web sites.
Influenza A (H1N1) or "Swine flu"
Quick Facts for Clinicians on Antiviral Treatments for 2009 H1N1
While use of influenza antivirals in the United States has increased during the 2009-2010 flu season, there are still many misconceptions about these medications. The available one-pager provides some key facts to consider when deciding whether a patient needs to be treated with antiviral medication.
CDC Key Points and CDC FluView
New and Updated Interim Guidance and Links to Resources for Clinicians
New Medicare Guidance – Coverage and Reimbursement Rules for the H1N1 Vaccine
A new Special Edition MLN Matters article regarding Billing for the Administration of the Influenza A (H1N1) Vaccine is now available. This article explains Medicare coverage and reimbursement rules for the H1N1 vaccine and also addresses seasonal flu coverage and reimbursement.
Note that Medicare will pay for seasonal flu vaccinations even if the vaccinations are rendered earlier in the year than normal. We understand that such preparations are critical for the upcoming flu season, especially in planning for the influenza A (H1N1) vaccine.
Though Medicare typically pays for one vaccination per year, if more than one vaccination per year is medically necessary (i.e., the number of doses of a vaccine and/or type of influenza vaccine), then Medicare will pay for those additional vaccinations. Our Medicare claims processing contractors have been notified to expect and prepare for earlier-than-usual seasonal flu claims and there should not be a problem in getting those claims paid. Furthermore, in the event that it is necessary for Medicare beneficiaries to receive both a seasonal flu vaccination and an influenza A (H1N1) vaccination, then Medicare will pay for both.
Please be advised that if either vaccine is provided free of charge to the health care provider, then Medicare will only pay for the vaccine’s administration (not for the vaccine itself).
All providers administering flu vaccine should review this article and be sure that their billing staffs are aware of this information.
In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated its Medicare Fee-for-Service Emergency Preparedness Questions and Answers (Qs & As). These Qs & As include a section applicable to the H1N1 flu virus.
Influenza Patient Educational Material
Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Pandemic Avian Influenza
There is agreement in the scientific community that pandemic avian influenza (bird flu) is a current global threat. While there are not yet guidelines that apply to all medical settings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released general information on preparation for pandemic avian influenza and other emergencies. Plans are likely to vary according to a wide variety of factors, such as geographic region and resources. The current emphasis is on community and organization preparedness.
- CDC, Bioterrorism - This site provides information on more than 30 different types of bioterrorism agents and diseases and provides specific tips and guidelines for ensuring safety when dealing with them.
- CDC, Radiation Emergencies - This site includes information on the effects of radiation and radioactive materials, and offers details about taking up shelter and evacuating during such emergencies.
- CDC, Natural Disasters and Severe Weather - This site details the potentially damaging effects of hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. Information on preventing illness and injury, and postdisaster cleanup is provided.
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