Healthcare Highways is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and coordinating with public health authorities. We have plans in place to keep our members, employees and provider partners safe, and as the situation evolves we will adapt our policies to ensure access to essential care.
The following outlines what is known about spread of the virus:
- The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person.
- Sick patients transmit the virus through airborne droplets to close contacts (within approx. 6 feet).
- Spread may be possible before symptoms arise.
- The virus has shown to be more resilient and contagious than authorities initially believed.
- It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
What is HCH doing today?
- We have a communication plan in place to keep our clients, members and network providers as well as our business associates informed.
- We formed a communications workgroup that is helping with messaging across all stakeholder groups to ensure accuracy and consistency.
- We've implemented a business redundancy plan and a work-from-home policy that includes the necessary technology and infrastructure to maintain business as usual.
- We completed training with our care coordination teams and Customer Experience Team (call center) to coordinate and triage inbound member and provider calls.
With constantly developing information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, it can be hard to keep track of it all. Because we care about your health, we are providing you with the latest COVID-19 information so you can keep yourself as well as your loved ones informed.
Now that there are authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, below are some things to know regarding the available COVID-19 vaccines as updates are made.
- There Are Vaccines for Emergency Use Authorization.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine are being offered to help prevent COVID-19. Though not FDA approved, they are authorized for emergency use with the promise of altering the course of the pandemic. Vaccines are not interchangeable; you should complete the series with the same product. For those receiving the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is administered 21 days after the first. Moderna's second dose is administered 28 days after the first dose. Please refer to the CDC COVID-19 Vaccines page for more information.
- After you have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you will receive a vaccination card with information on what COVID-19 vaccine you received, along with when and where it was administered.
- Remember to ask your provider to give you a V-safe information sheet. V-safe is a tool that provides a personalized health check-in after you’ve received your first vaccine. You will need a smartphone to access V-safe.
- Certain Groups Are Excluded from Getting the Vaccine.
The FDA has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in individuals 18 years of age or older. People with a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine or to any ingredient of this vaccine should not receive it.
- There Is Priority for Who Gets the First Vaccines.
Due to initially limited supply, the CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that vaccines be allocated in a phased approach.
Groups recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccine
Health care personnel
Long-term care facility residents
Frontline essential workers
Persons aged ≥ 75 years
Persons aged 65-74 years
Persons aged 16-64 years with high-risk medical conditions
Essential workers not recommended for vaccination in Phase 1b
All persons aged ≥ 16 years old not previously recommended for vaccination
For state-specific vaccine information, please follow the links by clicking on the state name:
- There Might Be Side Effects.
Side effects are possible, but serious reaction is rare. For more information on side effects, please visit the CDC or call your doctor. Side effects can include:
- There Is No Cost for The Vaccine.
Whether insured or uninsured, every American is entitled to vaccines to fight against COVID-19 at no cost. However, vaccination providers may be able to charge administration fees for giving the shot. Under the Affordable Care Act, providers are required to cover preventive care. Since the vaccine falls under preventive care, you have the right to file a claim.
As Always, Don’t Forget To:
- Wash Your Hands
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Use a face mask when around others
- Cover coughs and sneezes
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
CDC Travel Guidance
It’s important for people to stay grounded in facts from public health authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends:
- wash your hands frequently and thoroughly,
- clean and disinfect surfaces and frequently touched objects,
- avoid touching your face,
- stay home when you are sick,
- and avoid close contact with others who are sick.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Disaster preparedness plan: An effective preparedness plan would include how to keep your employees informed and safeguarded, to the best extent possible, while managing continuous business operations as well as interactions with the public and supply chain. Read the CDC community mitigation strategy for additional recommendations for workplaces.
- Continuation of employee benefits: Whether workers are out due to illness or a workplace shutdown, you should consider ways to work with them to ensure financial stability, addressing options such as emergency funds or wage advancement. This is also a great time to highlight the list of voluntary benefits employees have at their disposal, including employee assistance plans (EAPs) and short-term disability leave, among others.
- Travel restrictions: Many companies are canceling international travel as a key measure to control the spread of the virus. Virtual meetings are a viable alternative if you have the technology in place. Even if you don’t have employees traveling internationally, it’s a good idea to track employees’ travel plans (both work and personal) and identify those individuals most at risk of acquiring the virus.
- Remote work arrangements: Set forth policies for aspects of remote work. Focus on things like the hours you expect employees to be available, standards for keeping their security software current, tools they should be leveraging, and more.
- Benefits awareness: Much like during open enrollment, make sure your employees are aware of how your health plan works, and whether your plan offers telemedicine. The CDC also recommends leveraging telehealth to direct people to the right level of healthcare for their medical needs. Adopting telehealth will limit the spread of the virus by eliminating the risk of exposure to germs in the ER, urgent care, and primary care doctors. Also consider if your workers will need a doctor’s note to return from work if they were told to self-isolate or were hospitalized. Finally, communicate any decisions on whether the health plan will cover any or all of the costs if a worker (or a family member) need testing for the coronavirus.
These resources will provide helpful information to keep your employees informed:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
CLIENT COMMUNICATIONS From Our Chief Medical Officer
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
CDC Travel Guidance