News From Our Partners

Influenza Vaccine Coding and Billing Program


You have the opportunity to participate in a new, timely educational program:

“Cracking the Codes: Coding and Billing for Vaccinations with Fluzone® (Influenza Vaccines).”

This complimentary, updated program provides a comprehensive review of correct coding for Fluzone vaccine presentations and entitled payment. The program covers coding and billing for the 2017-2018 influenza season.

Influenza vaccine billing is complicated and seasonal, and you should annually see that you are coding and billing correctly. There are 25 codes for influenza vaccines, so it can be confusing. Additionally, the AMA recently changed how dosage is expressed in influenza vaccine CPT®a descriptions. You need to be aware of these changes.

Previous attendees highly recommend this program and have provided very positive feedback, including:

“I love that there are handouts that I can refer to for billing!”

“The presentation had great visual material. Very easy to understand. The presenter was excellent!”

“Excellent presentation and slides. Very clear and easily understood. I will share the information with my billing staff and also the clinic supervisor for the nurses. I look forward to this every year.”

You can join a live webinar followed by a question-and-answer session with a coding expert, or you may view the program’s on line modules, on-demand, at your convenience, 24/7. This includes BONUS Module 6: Roster Billing Instructions ; and, coming soon, Module 7: Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Medicare Billing.

Webinar: Coding for Fluzone Vaccine Presentations – Provides a thorough overview of coding and billing for Fluzone vaccine presentations followed by a live question-and-answer session.

  • Module 1: Coding for Fluzone Vaccine Presentations
  • Module 2: Coding for Administration of Fluzone Vaccine Presentations
  • Module 3: Case Studies
  • Module 4: Medicaid Billing and Payment
  • Module 5: Medicare Billing and Payment

Eastern Time

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

3:00 PM

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1:00 PM

12:00 PM

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

2:00 PM

1:00 PM

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11:00 AM

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

12:00 PM

11:00 AM

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9:00 AM

Thursday, September 14, 2017

3:00 PM

2:00 PM

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12:00 PM

Resources – Access the library of coding and billing resources, including state-specific Medicaid billing guidance and bonus Module 6: Roster Billing Instructions ; and Module 7: Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Medicare Billing.

To get more information about and register for this event, please click on the link below:

Once registered, you will receive an immediate confirmation e-mail plus a reminder e-mail prior to the event.

Value transfers to licensed health care professionals by pharmaceutical companies may need to be reported according to certain state laws, as well as the Federal Sunshine Act provisions.

We hope you participate in this important webinar to see that you are prepared for the influenza immunization season.

a CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.


Merck Warehouse Locations Are Changing


Dear Health Care Professional:

Merck is continually looking for ways to improve our service to you and, as a result, will be changing the warehouse locations in the United States from where we store, pack, and ship your vaccine orders. This change will be effective Monday, May 1, 2017, and will provide added flexibility and efficiency as we strive to meet our shipping commitments to you.

While we expect this process to go smoothly, there will be a temporary disruption to our shipping schedule as we complete the move to the new warehouses. On Wednesday, April 26, and Thursday, April 27, Merck will only be shipping certain vaccines as outlined below. Please note that you can continue to place orders for all Merck vaccines during this time. We expect normal shipping (from the new warehouses) to resume on Monday, May 1. Additionally, United Parcel Service (UPS) will continue to deliver your orders.

Vaccines that will ship during warehouse transition:

  • M-M-R®II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)
  • ProQuad® (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella Virus Vaccine Live)
  • VARIVAX® (Varicella Virus Vaccine Live)
  • ZOSTAVAX® (Zoster Vaccine Live)

All other Merck vaccines will not ship during the warehouse transition.

Please consider adjusting your ordering needs, as appropriate, to ensure you have adequate vaccine inventory on hand during this brief transition.

If you have questions, please contact your Merck Account Representative or call the Merck Vaccine Customer Center at 877-VAX-MERCK (877-829-6372), Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM, ET.

We appreciate your business and thank you for your understanding as we look to serve you better.


Colleen McGuffin
Vice President, US Commercial Operations
Merck & Co., Inc.

Important Information About the Influenza VIS Sheet


Recently, the CDC announced they are no longer issuing an annual update to the influenza vaccine information sheet (VIS). As a result, the CDC has advised health care providers to use the influenza VIS sheet that was issued on August 7, 2015. Please click here to access that VIS sheet.

Zostavax® Price Action


Merck has announced that there will be a 4.8% increase in the cost of Zostavax® effective July 5, 2016 for Main Street Members. New prices will be posted here.

FluMist® Use Discouraged by CDC


AstraZeneca today confirmed that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided its interim recommendation on the use of FluMist® Quadrivalent Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (FluMist Quadrivalent) in the US for the 2016-2017 influenza season. The updated guidance states the vaccine should not be used in any setting, based on CDC vaccine effectiveness data from the last three influenza seasons in the US, which indicated FluMist Quadrivalent did not demonstrate statistically significant effectiveness in children 2-17 years of age.

The US CDC effectiveness data for 2015-2016 season contrast with studies by AstraZeneca as well as preliminary independent findings by public health authorities in other countries. These findings demonstrate FluMist Quadrivalent was 46-58% effective overall against the circulating influenza strains during the 2015-2016 season. As influenza vaccine effectiveness varies from season to season, it is evaluated in annual observational studies. The CDC states that when there is a good match between the strains in the vaccine and those that circulate during the influenza season, vaccines are typically 50-60% effective.3 AstraZeneca is working with the CDC to better understand its data to help ensure eligible patients continue to receive the vaccine in future seasons in the US.

Please click here to see the original announcement on the AstraZeneca/MedImmune website.

Order Merck Vaccines Through a Prime Distributor


Effective July 1, 2016, Merck is giving members of a Merck-contracted Physician Organization the option of ordering Merck Vaccines directly through Merck and, now, through a Merck Vaccines Prime Distributor (“Prime Distributor”). This change will allow you to now purchase Merck Vaccines at contracted prices directly from Merck or through a Prime Distributor (a list of current Prime Distributors can be found at Please check regularly as the list is subject to change).

Prime Distributors must provide Merck Vaccines to eligible members at a price no higher than the Merck contracted price. Prime Distributors may apply additional charges to the invoice, such as, but not limited to, charges related to minimum order quantities, taxes, shipping, etc. The terms of sale for the Prime Distributors could be different from Merck’s terms of sale and should be reviewed prior to placing any orders. Please note that, if purchasing through a Prime Distributor, you will not be eligible for Merck’s prompt pay discount but could be eligible for the Prime Distributor’s payment terms. It is your responsibility to research the Prime Distributor’s terms prior to placing your order.

Your pricing under your Physician Organization agreement will not be available from eligible Prime Distributors until July 1, 2016. The Prime Distributors shall be subject to the Merck terms and conditions of sale in effect at the time of purchase. It is important that, if ordering through a Prime Distributor, you first confirm that the Prime Distributor is authorized through Merck. Secondly, you should confirm your pricing with the Prime Distributor prior to placing your first order to ensure that you are properly set up with the Prime Distributor and are receiving contracted pricing. If you choose to purchase through a Prime Distributor but you do not have an account with that Prime Distributor, you must first initiate the setup of your account with the Prime Distributor and receive confirmation prior to any purchases. You may still order directly through Merck as long as you have an active Merck Account.

For further guidance, please contact your Physician Organization or your Merck Representative. We are excited to be able to offer you this option and look forward to continued success.

Michele Taylor
Director, US National Customer Operations & Partnerships