Within this page, you will find Industry Perspective blogs written by the UCA Corporate Support Partners (CSP); Insights from UCA Chief Executive Officer Lou Ellen Horwitz; Practice Management blogs to help you better manage center operations; and bonus UCA education in Educational Insights.


CEO INSIGHTS: On CDC's Vaccine Distribution Planning

Posted: Oct 8, 2020
Categories: CEO Insights
Comments: 0


Posted by Lou Ellen Horwitz, Chief Executive Officer, UCA


If you read my recent LinkedIn post, you got the hint that we are beginning to get some traction on our advocacy work (so many years in the making) that should positively impact your clinics in the upcoming vaccination initiative.\

On Tuesday, we had a call with the CDC's Senior Advisor for Pandemic Medical Care and Countermeasures Lead who is also the Deputy Director of the Vaccine Task Force. Her teams are in charge of planning for the deployment of vaccines when they are ready.

There are two ways the vaccine will be distributed: One tier through direct contracting with the CDC, and a second tier through the state distribution plans.

Surprisingly, they were fairly familiar with urgent care. A few months ago their team considered including urgent care in their plans, researched us (primarily within health system models), and decided not to include us. In addition, they did not include us separately in the Playbook for the states. Here's why:

  • Concerns about our throughput - could we handle high volumes?
  • Concerns about our ability to manage cold storage/universal supply chain
  • Concerns about our ability to track & report vaccination activity

In addition, to be in the first tier (direct contracting), you had to be BIG. Two hundred+ sites, all legally controlled by a single entity.

With this knowledge, we were able to educate the CDC team on their misconceptions about urgent care's throughput capabilities, our typical supply chain relationships (but confirming lack of deep freeze), and UCA's ability to help states connect with their local centers.

By the end of the 1-hour call (voluntarily extended by the CDC) we had turned the corner on several items:

  • CDC intention to add urgent care to the Playbook for the states, similar to the way pharmacies are currently included/recommended.
  • Provision of state-based lists of urgent care centers from UCA to the Vaccine Coordinators in each state, through the CDC's Task Force work.
  • Plan to have the Deputy Director present to our members in a webinar on October 27, 1-2pm CT
  • Ongoing bi-weekly calls with UCA and the Deputy Director.

Overall, it was the most specifically positive discussion we've had to date, with true commitment on action items.

These action items will help ensure urgent cares are at least INVITED to be part of vaccine rollout so you have the opportunity to participate if you choose.

Some LIKELY qualifications you'll need to consider:

  • Registering to participate (at the facility level) through the existing VTrcks process for ordering (enrollment not yet open, details still in process)
  • Additional registration at the state-based (and perhaps county) immunization portals (if your centers currently participate in childhood vaccines this is likely the same system)
  • Willingness to track two-dose vaccinations and report vaccination activities on a daily basis
  • Capacity to provide up to 50 vaccinations/day (or vaccines "in arms" within 7 days of receipt)

Additional information:

  • Vaccines will be distributed as part of a "kit" that includes supplies and PPE
  • Minimum order will probably be 100

I hope this apparent progress is as encouraging to you as it was to us.

Lastly, I need to thank Sirona Strategies for spearheading the connections that made this call possible.  UCA is working with Sirona Strategies on vaccine distribution advocacy and these efforts are funded by the sponsorship of Experity Health. We appreciate Experity's ongoing contributions to the success of all of urgent care.


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