• Pediatricians’ Attitudes and Practices Regarding Patient Immunization in Arizona

      Khan, Soofia; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Sunenshine, Rebecca (The University of Arizona., 2012-04-30)
      Background: Despite the widespread availability of vaccines, including to the uninsured, significant numbers of both children and adults, remain unvaccinated or undervaccinated. Many reasons, including an increasing financial burden on primary care practices, availability of access to healthcare, and beliefs regarding vaccine safety, have been implicated; however, increasing concern has arisen regarding insurance payments for vaccines to providers [2, 5, 8]. Due to these concerns, we conducted a survey to understand the attitudes, perceptions and practices of Arizona pediatricians regarding vaccines and their reimbursement by insurance companies. Methods: In February 2011, 1407 standardized surveys were emailed, 87 surveys were faxed, and 216 surveys were mailed to AZ pediatricians who were listed in the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics membership database. Results: From the 138 (9.0% response rate) responses, we identified that about half of all provider respondents refer insured and uninsured 5 patients to public health or other outside clinics for vaccines. The most common reason for outside patient referral for vaccine is inadequate reimbursement by insurance companies, and approximately one-third of providers did not vaccinate a patient due to inadequate reimbursement. Additionally, the vast majority of providers were interested in participating in a buying group run by TAPI. Conclusions: Based on our survey, inadequate reimbursement for vaccines by insurance companies negatively affects Arizona pediatricians’ provision of immunizations. A provider buying group coordinated by a not for profit immunization coalition is one possible solution for this problem.