KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: Flu Vaccine Is Money Loser For Doctors Paid By Medicaid

More poor children would get the flu vaccine if Medicaid increased the reimbursement to doctors for giving the shot, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

"Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) looked at U.S. flu immunization rates for children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months during the 2005-2006, 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 flu seasons, and found that states with lower Medicaid reimbursement rates had lower vaccination rates," USA Today reports. Reimbursement rates ranged from $2 in Colorado, Connecticut and Hawaii to almost $18 in New York, with the average reimbursement rate $9. In a previous study, the researchers had calculated that the actual cost to doctors' offices for administering a vaccine was $20" (Preidt, 10/19).

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