Practice operations depend on a risk assessment of community spread of cases and your state’s current rate of vaccination. It is important to realize that this is a fluid and changing environment, that risk may change with time and decisions may need to change.
An Update on COVID-19 for the Practicing Allergist/immunologist (Updated 8/23/21)
Treating Your A/I Patients
Caring for Pregnant Patients with Asthma during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated 8/26/21)
- The COVID 19 Task Force does not anticipate any contraindication with the COVID-19 vaccine for patients on allergen immunotherapy (AIT). However, it would be best to not get the 2 shots within 48 hours of each other to avoid confusion should a reaction occur.
- On August 19th 2021, the CDC made the recommendation that immunocompromised patients should receive a third COVID-19 dose in order to improve their chances of protective immunity. They specifically recommended that patients with moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency disorders should be among those who receive a third dose.
- The AAAAI Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases Committee (PIDD) have reviewed available evidence on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine responses in patients with inborn errors of immunity (IEI), and acknowledge that information regarding the types of IEI that represent higher risk of either severe COVID-19 and/or suboptimal response to current SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations is still emerging. The AAAAI PIDD committee endorses the third dose for people with immune deficiencies as it believes most patients will benefit from the extra dose. However, the timing and specifics should be discussed with one’s own immunologist.
See what other AAAAI members are asking the COVID-19 Task Force about their patients and practices:
Managing Your Practice
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI): Considerations for Safe Clinical Practice During the Pandemic: written by the COVID-19 Response Task Force (12/20/20)
COVID-19 relief provisions and appropriations for FY 2021 of interest to allergy practices are summarized here.
Frequent updates of regulatory issues related to the COVID 19 pandemic from the AAAAI's professional advocacy partner can be found at https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/advocacy/covid.
Many practices are continuing to utilize telemedicine to see patients. A summary of current regulations and coding and billing guidance can be found here.
Helpful Resources for Telemedicine
Updated CMS Medicare fee-for-service FAQs. Telehealth guidance begins on page 35 and includes additional guidance related to telephone-only codes (Q24), billing of disconnected telehealth visits (Q25) and consent requirements for certain telehealth and other virtual visits (Q32).
The Joint Taskforce on Technology and Telemedicine developed several short videos on practicing telemedicine during the pandemic:
- How do I conduct a physical exam via Telemedicine?
- How do I conduct a professional Telemedicine visit?
- How can I use Telemedicine with my patients who have asthma?
- Telemedicine Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- How to Bill and Code for a Telemedicine Visit During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The AMA, in cooperation with CMS, has released new codes for specific vaccine products. A spreadsheet of all the COVID-19 testing, vaccine and vaccine administration codes can be downloaded here.