December 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

In an effort to provide accurate and helpful information to POMA members, we have gathered some of the resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time. We hope this helps you in staying on top of the latest developments in the spread of the disease and in helping your patients.

Stay safe and healthy!


New Headlines

POMA Working for Answers for its Private Practice Physician Members

POMA has received many concerns from its members in private practice across the spectrum of physician specialties over the last several days questioning when a COVID-19 vaccine would be made available to them and their staff. POMA members who are employed by hospitals have been steadily receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. POMA supports the effort to inoculate hospital staff as a priority, including both in-patient and out-patient settings. However, not much if anything has been relayed to private practice physicians and POMA is trying to get answers.

Anecdotally, POMA has heard from one of its members in the Philadelphia area who was told by a large healthcare institution that they were going to vaccinate their workers first and then distribute to the public. The physician was essential advised to wait in line as a member of the public. We have also heard more helpful news from a southeast county health department that they are working on a plan to get the COVID vaccine to private practice physicians. And, we have a report from the Central Pennsylvania area who shared his large institutional employer was planning to give priority to community physicians in private practice as soon as they completed vaccinations of their staff.

This afternoon, POMA spearheaded a letter to Governor Wolf and Secretary Rachel Levine that was signed onto by 8 additional physician organizations. The letter asks for more specific guidance for private practice physicians to receive information on when they can get the vaccine. We do not have feedback on the letter yet.

POMA knows it is still relatively early in the vaccination process and has recognized the need to vaccinate all hospital staff. But POMA is on a quest to obtain answers on how and when private physicians can expect to have access to the vaccine. POMA will continue to push this agenda and share back our findings and information. Stay tuned…

Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update

Pennsylvania hospitals began receiving shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 14 and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine the week of Dec. 21.

  • Through Dec. 22 - 109 hospitals have received 127,755 vaccine doses.
  • Through Dec. 23 - 41,444 doses of the vaccine have been administered.

A spreadsheet of facilities that have received vaccine can be found here.

Pennsylvania Department of Health’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan – Dec. 11, 2020

The Pennsylvania DOH continues to update its COVID-19 vaccine plan. The latest update was released on December 11, 2020. Many components of the COVID-19 vaccine plan remain fluid and will continue to be modified and adapted as more announcements and decisions are made at the federal level. The department is continuing to receive feedback and will be modifying this plan and posting public updates to this in the coming weeks.

The current interim vaccine plan is located on the DOH website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Codes

On December 18, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 for individuals 18 years of age and older.

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), Medicare will cover and pay for the administration of the vaccine (when furnished consistent with the EUA). Review the updated payment and HCPCS Level I CPT code structure for specific COVID-19 vaccine information. Only bill for the vaccine administration codes when you submit claims to Medicare; don’t include the vaccine product codes when the vaccines are free.

POMA Members Can Receive PPE Discounts

POMA is excited to announce our new partnership with to help our members acquire proper PPE supplies.  Launched in South Carolina, ActionPPE has supplied over 2.6 million units of PPE to members of over 20 state medical organizations through a reputable and certified supplier.  By pooling resources, POMA members receive a 5% discount on PPE orders when they use the discount code POMA-SAVE5. Product details and certificates for masks, gowns, gloves, face shields, etc. are provided on the site with most items in-stock and shipping directly to your office.

 PA Health Alert Network (PA HAN) - Health Alerts, Advisories and Updates

 Previously Published but Relevant Headlines

DOH Encourages Contact Tracing Participation

Michael Huff, director of testing and contact tracing for Pennsylvania, is emphasizing the need to prioritize case investigations and for those who test positive to participate in contact tracing - two key public health activities that occur when a case of COVID-19 is identified.  With 34,000 positive cases reported in the past seven days, contact tracing has become even more critical to identifying those who may have been exposed to the virus.  The Department of Health is utilizing the CDC's case investigation prioritization recommendations, which were revised on November 23.

Pennsylvanians are also encouraged to download the free COVID Alert PA App.  To date, there have been more than 600,000 downloads.

New Guidance Issued from PA Department of Health

In November, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released two alerts for healthcare professionals relating to COVID-19:

Updated Pennsylvania Coronavirus Links: Press Releases, State Lab Cases, Graphics, Resources

Daily Briefings and Updates from Pa. Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine

Resources from the CDC

The CDC has provided guidance and resources for healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, laboratories, as well as information for schools and childcare, businesses and employers, community and faith-based organizations, and the general public. Visit the CDC COVID-19 webpage for more information.

POMA will continue monitoring COVID-19 and provide updates and recommendations from PA-DOH, the CDC, the WHO and local health agencies. POMA's COVID-19 webpage and social media channels will be updated as information is shared from these organizations.

If you have any comments or questions for POMA, please email us at [email protected]

Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 |