FCAAP Immunization PSA Toolkits Available for Providers and Partners

Vaccines save more than 6 million lives a year and should not be delayed because of a pandemic. To help raise awareness, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) has released a statewide PSA reinforcing the benefits and importance of children’s routine vaccinations.

“Skipping or delaying annual immunizations raises the risk of children catching preventable diseases, especially during the pandemic,” says FCAAP President Dr. Lisa Gwynn. “We want to encourage parents and the community to ensure children’s routine vaccinations remain a priority to help them stay healthy and safe, and to save lives.”

This essential task can help keep children safe, healthy, and out of the urgent care or emergency room, yet in 2020 alone, there was a 26 percent decrease in vaccine doses, and 40 percent of parents said children missed shots due to COVID-19, according to recent data released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

We encourage you to help amplify the message by sharing the new PSA with your patients and their parents in your offices and on your practice’s social media pages.

For Providers: These provider toolkits in English and Spanish contain links to the PSA videos, messaging you can use in emails to your patients’ families, and suggested text for sharing the videos on social media. This calendar outlines the Chapter’s recommendations on when to post a PSA video on social media each week. As you join your fellow FCAAP members in posting the messages on the same days, you will help create a “social media storm” and increase the number of people who see the PSA.

For our Partners: These partner toolkits in English and Spanish contain links to the PSA videos, messaging you can use in emails to your providers, and suggested text for sharing the videos on social media.

Remember to let your patients and their parents know that proper steps have been taken to keep them and their family safe during their visit to your practice. Families without health insurance coverage may be eligible for vaccines at reduced or no cost through the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. To learn more about the Florida VFC program visit FloridaHealth.gov.

Thank you for all you continue to do for Florida’s kids!

FCAAP Urges Support of Legislation to End Gun Violence

Approximately one third of U.S. homes with children have guns and nearly 2 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns. Every day, 48 children and teens under age 19 are shot in the United States. More than 2,600 children under 19 die each year from gun violence. In Florida, firearms are the 2nd leading cause of death of children and teens with 185 dying or injured by guns each year. This is a public health epidemic that, if caused by an infectious disease or natural disaster, would prompt universal pleas for a solution.

In the wake of another senseless and preventable mass shooting, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) urges our elected representatives statewide and nationally to support legislation to end gun violence. This includes but is not limited to universal background checks, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, supporting smart gun technology, closing gun show loopholes, promoting safe storage, raising the age for gun ownership to 21, and promoting Red Flag Laws.

FCAAP Supports Legislation to Increase Vaccination Rates in Florida Schools

Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Legislation to Increase Vaccination Rates in Florida Schools

SB 1936 Filed by Senator Lauren Book would eliminate non-medical vaccine exemptions for school-aged children and keep kids safe from preventable deadly illnesses

Tallahassee, FL (March 11, 2021) – The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes routine immunizations as a key component of pediatric healthcare and a critical pillar of public health. The Chapter supports SB 1936 filed by Senator Lauren Book which would remove non-medical exemptions for vaccines statewide and help ensure that Florida’s children are protected from serious vaccine preventable diseases through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

“Vaccines are the most effective and safest way of preventing communicable diseases and save between two and three million children’s lives each year,” says Dr. Lisa Gwynn, President of the Florida Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us firsthand that we cannot let our guard down and must continue to make vaccinations a number one public health priority.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Florida has seen a dramatic decline in childhood immunizations, leaving Florida’s children and most vulnerable populations at risk for vaccine preventable diseases. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend children continue to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Book’s bill would not affect necessary medical exemptions for children who are unable to be vaccinated due to allergies or reactions to specific vaccines or those whose immune systems are compromised by medication or illness. In these cases, a physician would still be able to grant a medical exemption.

Parents should remember that proper steps have been taken to keep them and their family safe during their visit to their child’s pediatrician. Families without vaccine insurance coverage may be eligible for vaccines at reduced or no cost through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. To learn about the Florida VFC program, visit www.floridahealth.gov and to find a pediatrician, visit www.fcaap.org/parents.

“Immunizations aren’t just for protecting ourselves, they help protect the people around us who may not be able to receive vaccines like newborns, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, patients with compromised immune systems, and the elderly,” said Dr. Gwynn. “It’s important for all of us who are healthy – especially our children – to do our part in reducing the spread of disease by getting vaccinated to protect our community and future generations.”

About FCAAP

Through its more than 2,400 members, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health & welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians & pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their healthcare. Learn more by visiting www.fcaap.org.

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CONTACT:
Melanie Range
Communications Coordinator
Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
mrange@fcaap.org
850-224-3939

AHCA Seeking Feedback on 2021 Fee Schedule Updates

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) is in the process of updating the 2021 fee schedules, which includes updates to procedure codes and reimbursement rates for services provided in the fee-for-service Medicaid delivery system. The Agency’s fee schedule drafts are available on the Agency’s website here.

Prior to initiating the rule making process, the Agency is requesting feedback from providers regarding inconsistencies or discrepancies that may be present in the draft fee schedules. Feedback may be provided through this survey link. The link will be active until 5:00 pm on April 8th, 2021.

The purpose of this exercise is to identify any errors in the fee schedules. It is not an opportunity to request increases in the reimbursement rates, unless there is a valid concern that an error occurred in developing this year’s rates.

 

FCAAP Launches Public Service Announcement to Raise Awareness of Children’s Routine Vaccinations

The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP), an organization that promotes the health and welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians and pediatric specialists as the best qualified provider of their healthcare, has launched a statewide public service announcement to raise awareness on the benefits and importance of children’s routine vaccinations.

“Skipping or delaying annual immunizations raises the risk of children catching preventable diseases, especially during the pandemic,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Associate Professor, Clinical Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “We want to encourage parents and the community to ensure children’s routine vaccinations remain a priority to help them stay healthy, safe and save lives.”

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend children continue to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone, there was a 26 percent decrease in vaccine doses, and 40 percent of parents said children missed shots due to COVID-19, according to recent data released by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Families without vaccine insurance coverage may be eligible for vaccines at reduced or no cost through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. To learn about the Florida VFC program, visit www.floridahealth.gov and to find a pediatrician, visit www.fcaap.org/parents.

About FCAAP
Through its more than 2,400 members, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics promotes the health & welfare of Florida’s children and supports pediatricians & pediatric specialists as the best qualified providers of their healthcare. Learn more by visiting www.fcaap.org.

Media Contact:
Cristina Bermudez
cristina@rockorange.com
(305) 203-2411

Call for Nominations: 2021 Schiebler and Lichtblau Awards

FCAAP Members: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Audrey Lincourt Schiebler, RN, FAAP, and Gerold Schiebler, MD, FAAP, Advocacy Award and the Phillip O. Lichtblau, MD, Award!

Audrey Lincourt Schiebler, RN, FAAP, and Gerold Schiebler, MD, FAAP, Advocacy Award
This award is given annually to a physician who has worked beyond the profession, educated local and state legislators, and diligently advocated to improve the health and welfare of Florida’s children. Recent past recipients of this award include: 2020 – Tommy Schechtman, MD, MPH, FAAP; 2019 – Thomas T. Chiu, MD, MBA; 2018 – Jeffrey P. Brosco, MD, PhD, FAAP; 2017 – Lisa Cosgrove, MD, FAAP; 2016 – John Curran, MD, FAAP; and 2015 – Louis St. Petery, Jr., MD, FAAP.

Phillip O. Lichtblau, MD, Award
This award is given annually to a pediatric surgeon or pediatric surgical specialist who has contributed significantly either regionally or statewide to the Children’s Medical Services Program. The 2020 recipient was Cathy Burnweit, MD, FACS, FAAP.

Submit your nominations by 5:00pm EST on Thursday, April 15, 2021, by following this link.

Improve HPV Vaccination Rates at Your Clinic by Participating in a UF and NIH Study

Join the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FCAAP) and the University of Florida for a webinar to “Improve HPV Vaccination Rates at Your Clinic by Participating in a UF and NIH Study”, led by Drs. Stephanie Staras and Lindsay Thompson on UF’s study to increase the HPV vaccination rate.

The first 30-minutes of each session will include an overview of HPV vaccination including discussion barriers and facilitators and strategies to address them (1 CME credit provided).

The second 30-minutes will describe an NIH study of two sustainable and evidence-based methods to increase HPV vaccination: text messaging reminder/recall and physician recommendation strategy training. The study is currently seeking 30 clinics across Florida to participate in the study beginning April 2021. Inclusion criteria are HPV first dose rates among 13- to 17-year-olds < 68% and approximately 70 adolescents (11- to 12-year-olds) per clinician per year.

Two sessions are available through the following links:

March 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm EST – Register here.
March 8, 2021 at 6:00pm EST – Register here.

 

AHCA Improves Provider Payment Complaints Process

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has implemented an improved questionnaire path, for providers who submit a payment-related complaint, using the Agency’s online complaint form.

The new path was developed with input from Medicaid providers and plans, and is intended to:

  • Shorten the time needed to submit a payment-related complaint
  • Offer providers the opportunity to upload a sample EOB/RA of a disputed claim, in lieu of answering additional claims detail questions
  • Collect the information needed to research the complaint at the time of submission.

It is very important to include all requested information at the time the complaint is submitted. Failure to do so may cause delays in processing the complaint.

Access the Medicaid Complaints webpage.

As a reminder, the Agency for Health Care Administration has also developed a web-based resource where providers can check the status of complaint(s). When a complaint is filed, a tracking number is issued. It is important to retain this number. This tracking number allows a provider to check the status of the complaint.

Providers can check the status of all complaints by visiting the Medicaid Complaints webpage at the link above, clicking on the ‘Find your Complaint Status’ and typing the tracking number into the submission box.

The website is refreshed daily to update the status of complaints.  All information is current as of close of business, the prior day.

Florida Pediatric Foundation Offering Advocacy Training Scholarships for AAP Advocacy Conference

To support Florida’s pediatric residents to expand their knowledge of the legislative process and appreciation of the power pediatricians hold to influence the Legislature, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (FCAAP) Florida Pediatric Foundation (FPF) is offering six scholarships for residents enrolled in a Florida pediatric residency program to attend the AAP Advocacy Conference, being held virtually April 11-13, 2021! The scholarship will cover the winner’s registration fee and provide a gift card to purchase food during the conference.

Winners are expected to attend FCAAP scheduled meetings with our Florida Representatives and Senators during the conference. FCAAP leaders attending the conference will be paired with winners of the scholarships for support before, during, and after the conference. Applicants also are expected to identify an advocacy partner in their local area, institution, or one of FCAAP’s committees to collaborate with for future advocacy efforts.

Scholarship recipients are expected to provide a report of what they learned from the conference and how they will apply such knowledge to their participation in future FCAAP legislative and advocacy activities. Full details of the scholarship requirements and the application can be found here.

Applications are due by February 15th, and scholarship awardees will be notified via email no later than February 23rd. Residents must be members of FCAAP to apply.