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October 2007 NVAC Meeting Minutes

A majority of physicians disagreed that reimbursement for vaccine and administration are adequate;

One-half of those surveyed indicated that they had delayed the purchase of vaccine in the last 3 years due only to financial issues; and

Approximately 11 percent of providers seriously considered stopping all vaccination services to privately insured patients in the past year.

The second study was an assessment of the charges and reimbursements for vaccines and administration fees in private practices. The purpose of this study was to determine the range of prices paid for childhood/adolescent vaccines and administration fees charged and reimbursement paid for each by their three largest insurers. This was a telephone survey of practice managers, not the providers themselves.

Some of the draft findings of this study indicate that there is a wide range in terms of the costs that practices are paying for vaccines and the reimbursements they are receiving for vaccines. Data are being collected on virtually all vaccines and all formulations. Dr. Birkhead explained that the reason for the wide range in prices and reimbursement is multifactorial. He also explained that a large-scale dropout of providers is unlikely. The study also showed that it is clearly possible to make money on vaccinations.

The timeline for the Vaccine Finance Working Group is as follows:

To complete the next draft of the White Paper by December 2007;

To hold a stakeholders’ meeting to get input on the draft White Paper on January 8 and 9, 2008; and

To present the White Paper to the full NVAC for endorsement at the February NVAC meeting.

Dr. Birkhead concluded his presentation by explaining that perhaps the future of the Working Group includes examining finance issues in adult immunization.

Discussion

In order to not face the same issues experienced with the Adolescent Immunization Working Group’s White Paper, Dr. Humiston asked if the Committee might be able to see a draft of the White Paper before the February NVAC meeting. Dr. Birkhead explained that the draft document will be shared prior to the public stakeholders’ meeting.

In response to a question about the second set of data, Dr. Almquist explained that these data are restricted as many practices have contracts that state that they cannot give out this information. Therefore, these data will be kept anonymous.

Mr. Brandes asked if the Working Group had communicated with the health service research community as he recalled others collecting data of this nature. Dr. Birkhead explained that he was not sure whether they were contacted directly; however, the Working Group did conduct a literature search before beginning these studies.

Report: Subcommittee Update: Subcommittee on Vaccine Safety—Dr. Dan Salmon

Two main topics were discussed at the joint meeting of the Subcommittee on Public Communication, Consultation, and Participation (PCCP) and the Subcommittee on Vaccine Safety: The development of CDC’s Immunization Safety Office (ISO) research agenda and NVPO’s activities in vaccine safety and plans for future work of the Subcommittee.

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