This year has brought on unprecedented challenges in all sectors of business due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccine is being highly anticipated across the globe. Ensuring that the vaccine is distributed effectively will require careful planning. For this reason The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHC) and Department of Defense (DOD) have partnered with CVS and Walgreens. This partnership will ensure that long-term care facilities will be able to provide and administer the vaccination to the residents. Residents who live in long-term care facilities are more vulnerable to COVID-19 compared to other populations. For this reason, they will be prioritized for receiving the vaccination.
No additional out-of-pocket costs are going to be associated with the vaccine. This will be achieved through the efforts of the federal government. The government will be relaxing restrictions for billing Medicare specifically related to immunizations in nursing homes. Traditionally under the regulations of the Social Security Act, nursing homes are required to bill Medicare directly for immunizations. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will expand the group of providers that can be reimbursed for the vaccines. This will include independent pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.