Vaccine Update: A Need for Greater Cooperation, Coordination and Action With so many moving parts centered around the pandemic, the saving of lives and the prevention of spread, it's critical to arm our physicians (excuse the pun) with the vaccine, either Pfizer, Moderna or the future vaccines such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. LACMA’s fundamental goal is to assist in any way possible with the safe, effective, easily distributed and administered vaccine that is accessible at scale for physicians and communities immediately. The missing link has been “physicians” in the community setting. These can be non-hospital affiliated practices to specialty centers. This past weekend, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health shared an expansion of Tiers to include all physicians and thus will go live with several vaccination hubs starting next week: “Beginning Monday, January 11, COVID-19 vaccination is open to all healthcare workers (HCWs) in Phase 1A. Phase 1A is for all HCWs who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials. Visit the Healthcare Worker Vaccination webpage for information on how to access vaccination. The Vaccine Prioritization & Allocation webpage shows the current phases and tiers including estimated timelines for each phase.” There will be an immediate need for vaccinators, vaccine prep, patient observation, and supervision so we are working jointly on a “vaccinate the vaccinator” effort. We have calls with LA DPH outreach, volunteer and logistics folks lined up to discuss how to reach a high volume of vaccinators (volunteers) using our robust database combined with CMA’s data to reach the most physicians with the latest information they need on where to go to be vaccinated, how, when, and where to volunteer and more. Here is what LACMA is doing specifically: We will create a seamless method for educating prospective volunteers and help develop scheduling tools and a process for enlistment that isn’t confusing or redundant. We are alerting CMA on what simply isn’t working: from regulatory to bureaucratic impediments to getting shots in the arms of those who need them most to protect patients and community. As soon as we have information on how to access these assets, I will send out an alert to our members to keep them informed. Now, more than ever, physicians need immediate, but more importantly, accurate information. The LA DPH web site now has more than a dozen sites listed to receive the vaccine (by appointment only): view here . Kedren Community Health Center physician and LACMA Secretary Dr. Jerry Abraham was recently featured on Spectrum News1 doing his part: watch here. Latest Vaccine Update from LACDPH Vaccines continue being administered in Los Angeles County. As of late last week, we had received a total of 275,795 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 100,556 doses have been administered to our frontline health care workers at our acute care hospitals. We also have begun to administer the 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine and as of yesterday, 1,602 healthcare workers are fully vaccinated. We have received 215,200 Moderna doses, of which 31,915 had been administered to staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities, EMTs and paramedics, and to healthcare workers at clinics. This includes healthcare workers at urgent care and primary care clinics, at intermediate and home health care facilities and services, as well as healthcare field workers who face a high risk of exposure. At this point, we have administered 32% of the vaccines we have received as first doses. Now that the holidays are behind us, the pace of vaccinations is picking up as we expand the number of people trained to administer these vaccines and we continue to open additional locations to administer vaccines to priority group healthcare workers who don’t work at acute care hospitals. This week, additional vaccination sites will be opening across the county for frontline healthcare workers with appointments. Healthcare workers include clinical staff such as doctors, nurses, and therapists as well as people who work in other areas like laboratories and hospital environmental services. Currently, vaccination is only available to the healthcare workers who have direct or indirect contact with patients or infectious materials. Eligible healthcare workers can sign up for an appointment, and find out what verifications are needed, by going to Healthcare worker signup website . PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER FOR AN APPOINTMENT IF YOU ARE NOT A PRIORITY GROUP HEALTHCARE WORKER . Doing so will take an appointment slot away from the high-risk healthcare workers. People who ARE NOT an eligible healthcare worker WILL BE TURNED AWAY at the vaccination site if you don’t have the required verification documents, which include the below. Vaccination Distribution Phases Many people are interested in getting vaccinated. However, Public Health is proceeding with administering vaccinations within the priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), with additional guidance provided by the state. We understand that some people may feel they should be or are in these priority groups. However, there are clear definitions that we have posted on our website with very specific groups according to the priority tiers. Note that these timelines are estimates and may change according to factors such as vaccine supply and the state prioritization requirements. Phases and tiers will also overlap. *Proposed but not voted on by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and may be modified by CDC and/or CDPH In the meantime, please continue to wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, physically distance, and avoid gathering with people outside your household, even after you are vaccinated. Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/ California Department of Public Health https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.html Spanish https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus LA County residents can also call 2-1-1 Keeping Our Eye on Bad Legislation: AB 890 To listen to the interview with CMA’s chief legal counsel Francisco Silva on Assembly Bill 890, click here: https://anchor.fm/lacma . To find the Clear as Mud podcast on your favorite podcast platform search Clear as Mud. Please subscribe, rate and comment! To help expedite the administration and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued additional guidance clarifying the rules for vaccine administrators, including physicians. Learn more about these important guidelines here: https://bit.ly/Vaccine-Administrators E/M Coding Changes 2021 With modifications to the outpatient evaluation and management (E&M) coding guidelines set to take effect on January 1, 2021, physician practices should be ready for the most impactful overhaul of E&M codes in more than 25 years. In this webinar, Mary Jean Sage of the Sage Associates discusses the upcoming changes in E&M coding and other coding changes set to take effect in the new year. Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Register Here Telehealth Series: (Pt. 9) Telehealth 2021 Overview In this webinar you will learn about the future of pandemic-era telehealth laws and waivers; California's telehealth parity law, Assembly Bill (AB) 744, set to take effect on January 1, 2021; and new telehealth legislation in 2021. This webinar series is made possible through the support of the California Health Care Foundation and is open to all physician practices. Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021 Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Register Here Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 Winter Surge & Vaccine Rollout - Is Hope on the Horizon? The end of 2020 marked two milestones in the COVID-19 pandemic: a broad national surge of cases that have overwhelmed hospital capacity in communities across California and the first rounds of vaccine inoculations. With broader vaccine distribution expected in 2021, is hope on the horizon? Are we at the beginning of an end to the pandemic? This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the California Medical Association (CMA) and California Health and Human Services Agency. CMA is accredited by ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The California Medical Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Moderator: Kimberly Newell Green, M.D., Immediate Past President, San Francisco Marin Medical Society; Associate Clinical Professor, University of California, San Francisco Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Register Here Vaping: Public Health, Litigation, and Medico-Legal Advocacy Virtual CME Program Vaping and the use of e-cigarettes has become more pervasive nationwide. As new studies emerge on the dangers of e-cigarettes, claims for injuries and deaths related to the use of personal vaporizer products have also grown. This unique collaboration between the LA County Medical Association (LACMA) and the LA County Bar Association (LACBA) Health Law Section will foster a discussion of how medical advocacy and legal actions can converge to tackle a public health crisis. This innovative webinar will be sponsored by the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP). Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021 Time: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm CME* : A Maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ Register Here New Laws 2021 Please join this webinar as CMA's General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs, Francisco Silva, will discuss the new 2021 laws that are affecting physicians and their practices, highlight pending health legislation, and explain CMA’s legal resources. Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 Time: 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm Register Here #MondayMotivation "One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals."