Vaccination against preventable diseases is one of the most significant and successful public health strategies, improving health outcomes and saving the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars annually. Studies show that vaccines help to prevent up to 3 million deaths each year, making timely and complete vaccination consistent with recommended schedules a priority for public health. The costs of not vaccinating are staggering, with the estimated treatment cost for flu, pneumococcal disease, shingles and whooping cough in adults over the age of 50 standing at $27 billion per year in the U.S. Additionally, a recent analysis found that Medicare alone spent $106 billion on vaccine-preventable diseases over a 3-year period from 2016 to 2018.
The devastating impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shed renewed light on the importance of vaccinations and the power of heightening that specific knowledge and education among the broader population. In addition, the pandemic has served to emphasize some of the most significant barriers that healthcare stakeholders across the care continuum are faced with overcoming. The complexities of achieving shots series completion—when more than one dose is needed—is one significant reason vaccine-preventable diseases remain a persistent challenge. Another key obstacle is instances of vaccine hesitancy among the general public.
This hesitancy can result from a variety of factors, including poor public awareness of recommended immunization schedules and the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as misinformation regarding safety and effectiveness. Costs and access issues can present another barrier. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that among older adults, those with lower incomes were vaccinated against the flu at a rate 10% below those with higher incomes. With growing recognition of the impact of Social Determinants of Health on vaccine uptake, including notable health inequities and lower rates of health literacy and access across different demographic groups and geographic areas, healthcare organizations are seeking ways to increase education on safety and effectiveness and expanding access in populations that are challenged with lower rates of vaccination.
Insufficient recommendations by healthcare providers may pose yet another obstacle to vaccine uptake. A study published in the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) in 2019 indicated that many providers lack familiarity with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) immunization recommendations, stating that “only 60% of physicians and 56% of physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses reported using official guidelines to inform their decisions regarding adult immunizations.”
With clear and growing evidence of promoting vaccine uptake to the benefit of public health outcomes and reducing avoidable and unnecessary healthcare costs, there is ample opportunity for healthcare organizations to improve awareness of vaccine benefits. The opportunity is significantly strengthened by coordination of immunization engagement activities among healthcare stakeholders and use of proven member engagement activities.
Inovalon’s Vaccine Adherence Program helps bridge coordination and engagement gaps by offering a comprehensive package provided in partnership with pharmaceutical companies, retail clinics, provider networks, and other related elements of the healthcare ecosystem, in collaboration with participating health plans to support a strong focus on enhancing vaccine education and adherence initiatives. Our program promotes improvements in population health through increased immunization awareness, and prevention of diseases via effective and timely educational outreach coordination and engagement—all at little to no cost to the health plan.
The Vaccine Adherence Program leverages Inovalon’s established healthcare ecosystem connectivity to more than 275,000 providers, direct access to payer and member claims insights, deep expertise in data integration and normalization, and industry-leading analytics to assess clinical applicability and adherence of health plan members to applicable ACIP immunization schedule and guidelines. Analytical insights delivered through this data-driven program inform targeted disease education efforts, easing message delivery about timely vaccine series completion to promote uptake of recommended immunizations in support of improved health outcomes, quality ratings and overall public health, as well as significant economic benefits stemming from reductions in vaccine-preventable disease incidence and associated treatment costs.
Contact us to learn more about the Vaccine Adherence Program and get started today.
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