FluMist Twofer

I have two you’ll-see-it-here-first-if-not-only reports to provide you about the 2008 RVUs, but I’m reloading my personal machine (new hard drive) and I can’t get to them until Friday. Until then, you have to suffer with this important FluMist news.

Why are these news items important? I’ve now seen major advertising or health articles for “needle free flu shots” five times this week. The local newspaper, on a poster(!), even on-line. These ads never, of course, mention that the shot may not be covered by your payer or may not be available. Just that you, caring mom, should go get them.

In fact, did anyone catch the AAP ad during ABC’s “Grinch” movie tonight?!

Expect an influx of FluMist demands – and related problems – as a result. [Note to self: see if our clients are using more FluMist so far this year.]

As a result, two very important notes liberally borrowed from PCC customers posting on SOAPM:

Before this season we confirmed with essentially all our carriers that Flumist was going to be covered this year. However, UnitiedHealthcare and Horizon BC/BS [NJ] are denying coverage to the 2-5 segment as “not covered” or “not appropriate” for age, despite the FDA recommendation. UHC says they will pay after 1/1/8. Horizon may be a glitch. But be aware and ready to dispute denials.

And, this really from MedImmune (maybe I can get Dr. Walker to chime in) via Dr. Stoller. I’d post a link rather than quote it all, but I can’t find it on their site:

…MedImmune has recently experienced a surge in demand for FluMist this season due primarily to an expanded age indication to include eligible children 2-5 years of age and a favorable recommendation by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for coverage within the indicated population for the VFC program. Due to these factors, MedImmune is temporarily depleted of inventory. MedImmune may not have additional product available until after Thanksgiving or into early December…

Now, here’s the really funny part.  I was looking for the info above on-line and went to the FluMist site.  There, I entered my zip code to find the closest practices who could Get Me My FluMist.  Dr. Stoller’s practice – in New Jersey – is the 8th closest to my home here in Vermont.  What are the odds of that?

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