The CDC has issued an urgent health advisory to increase COVID-19 vaccination among people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future to prevent serious illness, deaths and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, Health Care Regulation and Quality Improvement Program is providing the following CDC Health Advisory as a courtesy to its out-of-hospital birth stakeholders. View the entire health advisory.
Read the COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions.
The coronavirus vaccine roll-out is a fluid, developing situation. Samaritan Health Services is working with local county health departments to vaccinate health care providers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and others in Oregon Health Authority’s first distribution group. Other high-risk groups will follow with guidance from OHA as vaccine becomes available.
At this time, it is not expected to have enough vaccine supply for the general public until spring or later. SHS is not yet scheduling or keeping a waiting list of patients, but we will communicate with our patients and the public when the vaccine is available.
Community health care providers and others who are in any of the Oregon Health Authority Phase 1a distribution groups and have questions about when and how you will be able to get vaccinated, please contact your local county health department for information:
Section 40-43 of House Bill 4212 (2020) require the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to adopt rules requiring health care providers to collect and report REALD data for all COVID-19 encounters.
Phase 1 of the data collection and reporting of REALD data go into effect October 1, 2020 and is applicable to the following health care providers:
For more detailed information on how to collect and report data, please review the Oregon Health Authority Fact Sheet and the HB 4212 REALD Temporary Rules.
Telemedicine Services Updates
OHA Telemedicine Webinar Video & Slides
FAQs Waiving Prior Authorization (Updated April 3, 2020)
MM-51 Retroactive Authorization Requests Policy
COVID-19 Billing Guidance for Providers
IHN-CCO Telehealth Telephone Services
As we continue to read and hear about the new coronavirus that is spreading internationally and in the United States, Samaritan Health Services and Samaritan Health Plans are actively working on preparing to care for any coronavirus patients should the virus come to our region. A coronavirus task force has been assembled and is developing a comprehensive plan of preparedness. This is a rapidly evolving situation and you should anticipate adjustments to our plans as the situation dictates.
Meanwhile, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself, your patients and your staff. We recommend the following steps:
While there are only a few reported cases of coronavirus in Oregon, cold and flu season is in full swing. The methods to prevent illness from this new virus are generally the same as with influenza. The Oregon Health Authority is tracking coronavirus cases in Oregon and have a newsletter that health care providers can subscribe to at oregon.gov.oha.
As a reminder and to keep this top of mind, the following are prevention tips from the CDC.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.
For information about handwashing, see the CDC’s Handwashing information.
For information specific to health care, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Health Care Settings.
For questions regarding travel, please refer to the CDC’s Specific Guidance for Travelers.
The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) has limited capacity for testing at this time. The Oregon Health Authority has therefore updated their guidance for testing and is requesting that only patients meeting the below criteria have samples sent to the OSPHL.
Outpatients not requiring emergency room evaluation should not be sent to the emergency room for testing.
Commercial and university laboratories are starting to offer testing for COVID-19. Outpatient clinicians are urged to use their clinical judgment to test patients that do not meet the above criteria. All testing for COVID-19 must be performed using airborne and contact precautions with eye protection (N95/PAPR, gown, gloves, eye protection). To conserve our PPE supplies, please only consider testing for patients with symptoms or exposures that are compatible with COVID-19 or are considered high risk.
See the OHA Testing Guidance for full information from the Oregon Health Authority.
See the CDC’s Overview of Testing for SARS-CoV-2.
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