Tags: Coronavirus | Vaccines | pharmacies | covid | shots | vaccinations

Small Pharmacies Feeling Financial Pinch of Giving COVID-19 Shots

coronavirus vaccine in cold storage
COVID-19 vaccine is stored at -80 degrees celsius in the pharmacy at Roseland Community Hospital on December 18, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 12 February 2021 12:27 PM

Thousands of small pharmacies are playing a crucial role in vaccinating against COVID-19, but many are not getting paid for the work and associated costs.

NBC News reported Friday the mom and pop pharmacies are investing huge sums of money to buy freezers for the vaccine, personal protective equipment, and scheduling software. In addition, many are hiring additional staff.

But now they are finding it difficult to recoup their costs, according to the network news.

Pharmacists in 11 states said they’re having difficulty billing insurance companies for their work because many providers do not permit them to file for reimbursement outside of pharmacy benefits. Instead, vaccine dose administration falls under medical benefit, according to NBC News.

“My entire career has been a scramble to try to make up the losses because the reimbursement model isn't good or healthy,” said Neal Smoller, who owns the Village Apothecary in Woodstock, New York. “We're doing a tremendous amount of work to provide this vaccine compared to others, and the reimbursement this time should be simple and represent that.”

Most pharmacies expect between $30 and $40 from insurance companies to administer two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

But some are just taking financial losses because of the complexities of the insurance system and the insurance status they hold within it, NBC News said.

The move to provide pharmacies with the vaccine is part of a plan by the Biden administration to ramp up vaccinations as new and potentially more serious virus strains appear.

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Thousands of small pharmacies are playing a crucial role in vaccinating against COVID-19, but many are not getting paid for the work and associated costs. NBC News reported Friday the mom and pop pharmacies are investing huge sums...
pharmacies, covid, shots, vaccinations
251
2021-27-12
Friday, 12 February 2021 12:27 PM
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