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Vaccines (and AAP Presidential Race)

Have you voted, yet, for AAP president?

If not, why not?

It's easy.  Go to the voting site.  Read the bios, go to the candidate WWW pages. Read the candidate responses.  Ask your friends.  But whatever you do, vote.  The turnout has been weak the last few years.

As some folks know, I've helped Dr. Yankus a little bit with his personal campaign site.  I've known him for about 20 years - in fact, he might have been the first practice I ever demoed in person!   PCC ran an interview with him a few weeks back that we hope introduced him to many folks who haven't had a chance to meet him.

We have also interviewed Dr. Bob Block, Dr. Yankus' competition, who is well supported by a number of our clients, especially those who know and have worked with him.  I hope our interviews are the first in many steps to help get out the AAP vote!

What made me think of all this - and will lead me back to my focus of today's effort -  was Dr. Yankus' campaign blog posting about vaccines.  We have had a surfeit of excellent vaccine business pushback at the AAP level in the last 2 months.  More than I have ever seen.

First, Dr. Palfrey provides her now-famous blog entitled "Helping Pediatricians Breathe."  Do I agree with it 100%?  No, of course not.  I only agree with my wife that way.  But it provides an excellent outline of the AAP's increasing vigilance on matters related to immunization reimbursement.

Then, one of my favorites, Dr. Lessin, hit AAP News with his piece entitled, "Economic Barriers to Immunization Must Be Removed."   Here is his manifesto:

We must remove economic barriers to pediatricians by ensuring that all payers compensate vaccine services and changes in acquisition costs with immediate recognition and an adequate margin to ensure continued participation and provision of such services.

We must remove economic barriers to patients by providing first dollar coverage for services with particular emphasis on vaccines.

We must remove economic and administrative barriers to pedia- tricians wishing to participate in the VFC Program and encourage disadvantaged children to have access not only to federally qualified health centers but to non-governmental practices as well.

We must insist on interoperability of immunization registries and encourage more regional and national registries in order to make access to records seamless and easy.

We must vigorously and loudly fight back against the anti-vaccine movement with real science and data, not junk science and opinion.

We must remind young parents about the very real dangers of preventable childhood disease.

We must make ourselves more available with extended hours and avoid missed opportunities to vaccinate due to minor illness.

We must advocate for continuous monitoring of vaccine safety and ongoing research and education on this topic.

We must provide a comprehensive medical home for immunization and encourage alternate venues if such medical homes are unavailable.


Finally, via SOAPM, I heard about Dr. Russell Libby's piece in Pediatric Annals which reads like a primer on the issues of immunization financing, on the practice level.  In fact...I think I have to reference it somehow in my upcoming chat at the AAP NCE (which will focus on this issue).  Another must read, thanks for the PDF.

Tags: Uncategorized, vaccines, aap, aap president

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