Home Health & Hospice

Flu Season is Approaching! Are you prepared?

Homecare Insider, October 1, 2012

The 2012-2013 influenza (flu) season could begin as early as October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As patients age, their immune systems may weaken. This weakening can make seniors more susceptible to complications from seasonal flu. Now is the perfect time to remind your patients that seasonal flu vaccination is the best defense against the flu, according to an announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare provides coverage for one flu vaccine and its administration per influenza season for seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries with no co-pay or deductible. CMS suggests that providers talk with Medicare patients about their risk for getting the flu and start protecting these patients as soon as your 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccine arrives.

Note: Influenza vaccine plus its administration is a covered Part B benefit. Influenza vaccine is NOT a Part D covered drug.

For more information on coverage and billing of the flu vaccine and its administration, as well as related educational resources for health care professionals and their staff, please visit the CMS Medicare Learning Network Preventive Services Educational Products and CMS Immunizations web pages. And, while some providers may offer the flu vaccine, others can help their patients locate a vaccine provider within their local community. HealthMap Vaccine Finder is a free, online service where users can search for locations offering flu vaccines.

To read the complete announcement by CMS, click here.