Health Department Announces New $35 Million Program for Providers to Speak With Patients About Covid-19 Vaccines

Providers can receive payments for vaccine counselling conversations with patient, health plan enrollment begins this week

All health care providers are advised to offer information on the vaccines to unvaccinated patients at each visit

September 9, 2021 — The City today announced a new $35 million program that offers reimbursement to health care providers for vaccine counselling conversations with unvaccinated patients in their practice. Starting this week, health plans will begin being enrolled into the program. Medicaid and Medicare Advantage insurers are invited to opt-in immediately so that their providers can start taking advantage of this incentive as soon as possible. Through September and beyond, health plans will reach out to providers with additional details on how they can be reimbursed for these services. Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi is also issuing an Advisory (PDF) today to health care providers, continuing the Department’s Use Every Opportunity campaign. Health care providers are advised to offer unvaccinated patients information on the effectiveness, availability, and administration of the vaccines on each visit – whether the patient is visiting for a diabetes checkup or a routine physical exam.

“Clinicians like doctors are trusted voices for their communities, and our patients rely on our strong recommendations to boost their confidence in the vaccines,” said Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Commissioner Dr. Michelle Morse. “We all have a part to play in the vaccination effort, and health care providers have already played a particularly vital role. Start or continue the conversation with your patients today, there’s no better time than now.”

“Providers have been working hard to encourage their patients and communities to get vaccinated,” said Executive Director for Health Systems Planning and Policy Ana Gallego. “Now, the Health Department and partner plans are making sure that their time and efforts to proactively reach out to unvaccinated patients will be supported at this critical phase in our vaccination campaign.”

In each conversation, providers must discuss the science of safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, recommend the vaccines, and arrange for vaccination. The Health Department will offer technical assistance for providers through webinars and a provider call line for questions.

Additional details of the program will be communicated to providers by the participating insurance plans through the month of September. This new program builds off the Department’s provider outreach, including visits to over 1,200 clinical providers, and the Use Every Opportunity tool (PDF) for clinicians.

Providers seeking to help their patients get an appointment can call 877-VAX-4-NYC and press 2 to be directed to an operator who will help book an appointment for patients on the spot.

All New Yorkers 12 and older are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. New Yorkers can make a vaccine appointment at, call 877-VAX-4-NYC or walk in at any City-run site and get vaccinated.



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