There’s no doubt that the ability to offer patients immunization against a deadly virus would be a good thing for urgent care. Patients who have never visited your facility before may be encouraged to step inside for the first time, thereby getting a close-up view of how professional your team is and leaving with a peace of mind they may have been lacking for months. What offering the vaccine will not do is provide even a modest new revenue stream, as the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminds us. The OIG just published an open letter reminding the public and healthcare providers and operators that the vaccine is being furnished by the U.S. government and must be administered to all comers at no cost to the patient. While you can charge an administrative fee to a government or third-party payer, or to a government program or the uninsured there is no patient responsibility for the vaccine allowed (including balance billing). The OIG issued the reminder after getting reports that some healthcare providers have billed patients for immunization services.

Be Aware: Offering COVID-19 Vaccine May Garner More Appreciation Than It Will Revenue