Ten percent of pediatricians say they have seriously considered no longer providing vaccines due to concerns about their cost, according to results from a 2011 survey.
If a pediatrician does decide to stop offering vaccines, parents will have to take their children elsewhere to get shots. Lindley stressed that the survey did not address whether doctors had actually discontinued the vaccines, only if they had considered it.
As of 2012, complete vaccinations through age 18 for one child cost about $2,500, the authors write. Vaccines are given during up to 35 separate appointments.
Private pediatric practices purchase these vaccines and are reimbursed in two ways, once for the vaccine itself and once for administration, by either private insurance or public insurance like Medicaid. The amount doctors pay to buy vaccines and the amount they are reimbursed can vary a great deal, the authors note.
On average, Medicaid pays doctors $9.45 for vaccine administration, compared to $16.62 for private insurance companies. With private insurers, doctors can negotiate higher reimbursements.
Doctors who were most dissatisfied with insurance payments were often the same ones who had considered ending their vaccine programs.
Source: Reuters, 26 February 2014 –