A free AAFP webinar(register.gotowebinar.com) scheduled for Sept. 26 from 11 a.m. to noon CDT seeks to help family physicians increase their influenza vaccination rates, especially among patients ages 65 and older.
The webinar, titled Increasing Influenza Vaccinations for Adults 65 Years and Older: Evidence-Based Strategies in Primary Care for Reducing Barriers, is intended to
- update participants on the CDC's 2017-2018 "Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines"(www.cdc.gov) guidance and recommendations;
- reinforce the importance of using a strong recommendation to vaccinate, as well as stressing the need to educate patients on the benefits of influenza vaccines; and
- educate webinar participants on how to properly code and bill for administering the influenza vaccine.
To accomplish those goals, the webinar will provide an evidence-based approach family physician practices can use to overcome five key barriers to providing the influenza vaccine. Those barriers are
- lack of familiarity with primary changes and updates to current seasonal flu prevention and control guidance;
- knowledge gaps in influenza vaccine choices for all age groups;
- myths and misconceptions about the flu vaccine among patients;
- inconsistent messages about the flu vaccine among members of the care team; and
- a lack of understanding of appropriate billing and coding processes for vaccinations.
Thomas Koinis, M.D., of Duke Primary Care in Oxford, N.C., will lead the webinar. He told AAFP News that updates to influenza vaccine recommendations he plans to cover include the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices decision to again recommend against use of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV; FluMist) for the 2017-2018 flu season because of the vaccine's reduced efficacy.
Koinis also said he'll discuss the changes in vaccine age range indications and how the H1N1 component of the vaccine has been changed this year.
Also during the webinar, AAFP coding specialist Barbie Hays, C.P.C., will provide the latest information to help make influenza vaccination financially feasible for family medicine practices. Capturing the correct charges helps physicians offer this valuable service to their patients and receive proper compensation.
And to further sweeten the deal, the webinar also will offer participants free laminated billing and coding cards while supplies last. These resources will highlight the 2017-2018 influenza vaccinations, dosages and Medicare-approved billing codes.
"The cards will help keep the necessary information at the fingertips of family docs and staff," Koinis said. "These cards will be mailed to participants following the webinar."
Overall, Koinis said he hopes participants leave the webinar understanding the importance and impact of influenza vaccination, how to increase uptake of vaccines in their practices, and how to better chose from the many vaccine options that are available.
After it airs live, the webinar will be archived on the AAFP's website in three short clips, making it easy for family physicians and staff to digest.
The webinar and its supporting materials are funded by an unrestricted grant from Sanofi Pasteur.
Koinis said he's excited to have the opportunity to educate fellow family physicians about best practices for this season's influenza vaccination options.
"I am passionate about the vital impact of vaccines on our health and appreciate the opportunity to be involved with this webinar," he said.
Related AAFP News Coverage
Review Updated Flu Prevention Guidance for 2017-2018
Changes Include Newly Licensed Products, Expanded Age Indication