Flu Season Is Upon Us

By: AvMed News AvMed News

Time flies: It’s hard to believe, but flu season is almost here. As a reminder, all AvMed Members can receive a flu shot free of charge from a Participating Provider or pharmacy.

The flu vaccine continues to be one of the most effective ways to prevent infection, not only among patients but also those around them. Flu activity starts to increase around October and peaks between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Certain populations like older adults and children under 5 are at a high risk of developing flu-related complications like pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus infections. These groups, in particular, should be extra vigilant about avoiding the flu. People with chronic medical conditions like asthma should also be more cautious.

You play an integral role in protecting your patients from the flu. To ensure your patients get vaccinated, follow these tips:

  1. Start sending out reminders. It’s never too early to start thinking about the flu. During your patients’ next visit, remind them about the upcoming flu season and what they can do to protect themselves from infection. You can also be proactive and call or email them a reminder.
  2. Discuss alternatives with your patients. Some patients may be hesitant about getting the flu vaccine. Perhaps they had a bad experience in the past or they’re concerned about side effects. Regardless, listen to your patients if they have any concerns. Preservative-free vaccines and other alternatives are available.
  3. Make patients aware of incentives. AvMed Medicare Members and Individual and Family Members can earn rewards for getting their flu shot. The incentives program provides Members with gift cards for scheduling wellness visits and other routine medical care. For more information, visit AvMed.org/Healthyperks.

Have questions about flu shot benefits? For answers, call AvMed’s Provider Services Center at 1-800-452-8633 or email Providers@AvMed.org.