Provider Alert! Abbott Recall of Certain Powdered Formulas: Similac, Alimentum, EleCare, Elecare Jr. and Similac PM 60/40Texas Children's Health Plan
Date: March 2, 2022
Attention: All Providers
Providers should monitor the Texas Children’s Health Plan (TCHP) Provider Portal regularly for alerts and updates associated to the COVID-19 event. TCHP reserves the right to update and/or change this information without prior notice due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 event.
Regarding system configuration updates, TCHP will apply updates and reprocess impacted claims as soon as possible. However, due to volume, please allow up to sixty (60) business days to complete. Providers are not required to appeal the claims unless they are denied for other reasons after the claims reprocessing is complete.
Providers should direct questions to their assigned Provider Relations Liaison or send an email inquiry to the Provider Relations Department at email@example.com.
Call to action: Texas Children’s Health Plan received an urgent notice of Abbott’s voluntary recall of certain powdered infant formulas currently under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC due to concerns of possible contamination with harmful bacteria.
TCHP wanted to ensure that our providers are aware of this important member safety matter and are prepared to assist our Members in obtaining appropriate replacement formulas.
Please inform Members DO NOT USE:
Similac products (including Advance, Total Comfort, Spit Up, and Sensitive), Alimentum, EleCare or EleCare Jr. powdered formulas if:
- The first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and
- The code on the container contains K8, SH, or Z2; and
- The expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022)
Similac PM 60/40
- With lot # 27032K80 on the bottom of a can or 27032K800 on a case
Updated 2/28/2022 https://www.cdc.gov/cronobacter/outbreaks/infant-formula.html
Please inform Members that they should check to see if their child’s formula is part of the recall:
- Check the codes and expiration on the bottom of each can or on the side of each case.
- They can also enter the lot number printed on the bottom of the formula on the Abbott website.
- If a formula is part of the recall, do not use the formula. If your regular formula is not available, contact your child’s healthcare provider for recommendations on changing feeding practices.
How this impacts providers:
Based on FDA guidance, parents and caregivers should not use the affected products and should take it to the store for refund and exchange. If formula was obtained from WIC, Members can call their WIC office for more information and can receive a different brand of a similar formula. Members on special formulas (Similac PM 60/40, Alimentum, EleCare and EleCare Jr.) will need a prescription for the appropriate substitute.
The affected powdered infant formulas may be contaminated with Cronobacter or Salmonella. Per the FDA, five infant illnesses have been reported. All five patients were hospitalized and Cronobacter may have contributed to a death in two cases.
Cronobacter bacteria can cause severe foodborne illness primarily in infants including severe, life-threatening infections (sepsis) or meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that protect the brain and spine). It may also cause bowel damage and may spread through the blood to other parts of the body.
- Symptoms to watch for: Poor feeding, irritability, temperature changes, jaundice (yellow skin and whites of the eyes), grunting breaths and abnormal movements.
Salmonella can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever (salmonellosis).
- Symptoms to watch for: Diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases, may become fatal.
Next steps for providers: The health and wellbeing of our Members/your patients is Texas Children’s Health Plan’s top priority. Providers should be prepared to receive inquiries from parents/caregivers regarding this important safety recall and remain current on the latest information on the matter.
For recalled Similac Advance, Similac Total Comfort, Similac Sensitive and Similac Spit-Up:
WIC has temporarily added more options so parents can find a formula at the store that will meet their babies’ needs without updating their cards. For a list of alternative brands that parents can get with WIC, visit https://texaswic.org/about-wic/special-wic-food-updates
For recalled Similac PM 60/40, Alimentum, EleCare and EleCare Jr.:
For these specialized formulas, healthcare providers will need to provide Members with a new prescription to ensure the replacement formula will meet the infant’s medical needs.
TCHP is outreaching to Members to inform and assist those needing replacement formulas as well. We are also coordinating with DME companies and ordering providers to assist Members with authorizations for formulas affected by the recall to obtain appropriate replacement formulas.
If you have any questions, please email Provider Network Management at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For access to all provider alerts, log into:
www.thecheckup.org or www.texaschildrenshealthplan.org/for-providers.
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