Financial Barriers to the Adoption of Combination Vaccines By Pediatricians

Published in: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, v. 164, no. 12, Dec. 2010, p. 1138-1144

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2009

by Courtney A. Gidengil, M. Maya Dutta-Linn, Mark L Messonnier, Donna Rusinak, Tracy A Lieu

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OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of combination vaccine use and the associated financial barriers faced by pediatric practices, and to identify determinants of adoption of combination vaccines. DESIGN: Mailed national survey. SETTING: Pediatric practices during the period from August through October 2008. PARTICIPANTS: Pediatricians randomly selected from the American Medical Association Masterfile. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Use of 1 of 2 infant combination vaccines (the diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis, hepatitis B virus, and inactivated poliovirus [DTaP-HepB-IPV] vaccine or the DTaP, IPV, and Haemophilus influenzae type b [DTaP-IPV/Hib] vaccine). RESULTS: We received 629 responses (response rate, 67%). Four hundred ninety-two pediatricians (78%) reported using 1 or both of the infant combination vaccines of interest (ie, the DTaP-HepB-IPV or DTaP-IPV/Hib vaccine). More than half of the respondents said their practice did not receive adequate reimbursement for the purchase and administration of vaccines in general. More than one-fifth reported not using 1 or more of the combination vaccines because of inadequate reimbursement for the cost of vaccine doses (23% of respondents) and/or vaccine administration (20% of respondents). The infant combination vaccines studied were less likely to be used by smaller practices, by those with a lower proportion of publicly insured patients, and by those with less inclusive state vaccine financing policies. CONCLUSIONS: One in 5 pediatricians reported that inadequate reimbursement prevented their using 1 or more combination vaccines. Practice size as well as the proportion of children whose vaccinations are paid for by public funds appear to be important determinants of the adoption of combination vaccines.

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