USRetina Response Corona Virus

USRetina Updates on Supplies, Support, and More

USRetina continues to work with our partners and suppliers on updates regarding the news and information you need to make decisions at the practice level. Here’s our latest news on supplies, financing, and promotions for you and your patients:
PPE PURCHASING AND SUPPLY

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow, the top question we’re hearing from our members is how to purchase masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment. While we recognize there isn’t an easy solution to some challenges right now, we’re working closely with our vendor partners to get answers.

Our primary vendor for PPE supply is McKesson Medical-Surgical. Here’s what you need to know:

SUPPLIES
The team at McKesson has stressed that the current volume of orders is unprecedented, and that they are working around the clock to find supplies from domestic manufacturers. Here are the details on current state for key PPE:

  • N95 masks and respirators. Current inventory is extremely low to zero, with 1.5 million masks ordered last week alone, 20 times the normal volume. Practices should expect delays; masks ordered in March should arrive in April. For now, clinics are advised to follow CDC guidelines.
  • Exam/surgical masks. These are also in short supply, since China is exporting fewer surgical masks than anticipated. McKesson is currently allocating these masks as described below.
  • Gowns. Inventory is low, and a recall of sterile gowns prior to the COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated the shortfall. McKesson is buying gowns as they become available.
  • Hand sanitizer. Inventory is low, with 5 million ounces of hand sanitizer ordered in March thus far, which is ten times the normal volume. To speed up production, manufacturers have switched to producing a uniform container size, and supplies should be replenished soon.
  • Surface wipes. Inventory is low, with four times more requests than normal flu season.
    Gloves. Inventory is adequate for now and should remain so unless there’s a significant increase in orders.

ALLOCATIONS
McKesson has implemented a 30-day rolling allocation system for PPE items on a per-practice basis. For example, a practice has 30 facemasks allocated: If they order 30 on 3/29/20, then they will not be able to order any more until 4/29/20. If they held off and ordered 30 on 4/3/20, then they would be able to order again on 5/3/20. MMS is currently letting practices rollover unused allocations.

McKesson is also continuing to take steps to protect access to PPE, including no longer selling items in short supply to resellers or consumer websites, restricting sales of PPE to current customers only (including USRetina members). There’s also some hope that the anticipated decline in elective surgeries will free up some supplies, providing relief.

THERAWORX PROTECT
In response to COVID19 and allocation of PPE, the team at McKesson Medical-Surgical (MMS) has made available to interested USRetina members the purchase of a newly stocked product, Theraworx Protect.

Theraworx Protect is a non-toxic, advanced hygiene and barrier system for the skin that can be used on the hands and the face. Here is a poster on its use and application.

The Theraworx Protect item order is #868197 but is NOT listed in the MMS supply order site due to caution on orders vs. availability. However, in working with MMS, they are willing to take orders and ship to any USRetina members that are interested in securing the product.

If your practice is interested in ordering and/or learning more about this product, please contact us at info@usretina.com.

Item# 868197
Vendor Category#: HXC-04Z
Description: CLEANSER, SKIN THERAWORX FOAM 4OZ bottles
Size: 24 bottles per case
Cost: $155.00 per case

DELIVERIES
McKesson is also taking steps to keep deliveries safe and secure. Drivers are now carrying certified letters verifying that they are symptom-free and have not traveled outside the U.S. in the last 14 days. They will continue delivering to safe zones, and practices can ask to check drivers’ temperatures before accepting deliveries.

For UPS deliveries, the company has stated that it is prioritizing medical deliveries and has no plans to suspend service that is vital to health care. Drivers will no longer be collecting signatures, but will be recording names where possible.

AMERICAN EXPRESS

In partnership with USRetina, American Express is ready to assist our members financially due to the effects of COVID-19. This can include waiving late fees, return check fees and interest charges.

All members can reach the American Express Customer Care Professionals anytime by calling the number on the back of their card and/or through digital servicing channels via the online chat function or the Amex app. Additional details on support can be found here or here.

STAPLES

Under the provisions of the USRetina vendor agreement with Staples, member practices are designated as Healthcare Providers and enjoy priority in ordering and receiving PPE and sanitizing products,

To help assure that their status as a Healthcare Provider is recognized, Members are encouraged to continue to purchase through the RetinaPurchasing and use the Staples account that is aligned with their USRetina membership. If you do not already have a Staples account aligned with your USRetina membership, contact nswayne@usretina.com to create one.

Due to very high purchasing demand, some items may appear to be available that are not actually in stock because stock was depleted during the transaction period. In that case, orders will be cancelled by Staples.

Starting Wednesday, March 25th, USRetina members will be able to start placing back orders for high demand items such as hand sanitizer, wipes, masks, gloves, etc.

Large new orders from prioritized customers will be evaluated to ensure we are able to accommodate the needs of as many as possible.

Members will see the following message for high demand products: “Inventory for select items is reserved for first responders and healthcare providers.

MODERNIZING MEDICINE

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, to best serve their clients, patients and the healthcare community at large, Modernizing Medicine is offering its telemedicine solutions at no additional charge. Practices interested can learn more on the Modernizing Medicine website at and are invited to join a free webinar on Thursday, March 26th at 12 PM and 7 PM EDT. You can register here.

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU
The challenges we are facing are unprecedented, but you’re not alone. The team at USRetina is monitoring the situation as it unfolds, working with our partners, and communicating closely with our members to make sure you get the information you need to make the best possible decision for your practice. We invite you to continue to be part of this process as we look for solutions and find new ways to support our community through this crisis.