Adults seeking access to and coverage for vaccines encounter a confusing health care system that presents multiple barriers, including lack of information about recommended vaccines, financial hurdles, as well as technological and logistical obstacles. AVAC is working towards legislative and regulatory solutions that will strengthen and enhance access to and utilization of adult immunization services across the health care system. Our priorities include:
AVAC is committed to improving reporting of adult vaccinations to state immunization registries and encouraging greater utilization of health information technology to track adult vaccination status and improve patient outcomes and care.
Advancements in health information technology create multiple opportunities for greater access and utilization of immunizations among adults. Technology has the power to inform providers about recommended vaccines for the adult population. It can also foster providers’ ability to receive and send information about patients’ immunization status.
Immunization information systems (IIS), also known as registries, are confidential, population-based, computerized systems that record all immunization doses administered by participating providers to persons residing within a given area. IIS systems create a comprehensive, consolidated immunization record for individuals, which can then be used by providers to determine which recommended vaccines may be appropriate for the patient. At the population level, an IIS can also provide aggregate data on immunizations for use in surveillance and program operations, and in guiding public health action with the goals of improving vaccination rates and reducing vaccine-preventable disease.
Quality reporting measures are an increasingly important tool to track progress and desired outcomes in terms of preventive services benchmarks. Monitoring and reporting of offered and administered immunizations helps to ensure that the range of available immunizations remain a priority and in the forefront of clinical care standards.
Reducing the number of missed immunization opportunities is imperative to improving health and reducing the burden of vaccine preventable disease.
Developing, testing, and integrating additional ACIP-recommended adult immunizations as quality measures and incentive benchmarks under Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance would help drive utilization and improve patient access to these low-cost preventive services.
Despite the health benefits that result from implementation of ACIP recommendations, vaccines have been consistently underutilized in the adult population and lag far behind the Healthy People 2020 goals. These disparities are even greater when looking at-risk populations – including seniors, communities of color, limited English proficient persons, and people with chronic illness.
Though the childhood vaccination program in the United States has been largely successful at reducing or eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage, minority communities and vulnerable adult populations continue to experience significant disparities in adult immunization rates. For example, African American, Asian, andLatino adults receive recommended vaccinations at rates far below those of whites for every adult-recommended vaccines.
At risk populations, including the frail elderly and pregnant women, also lag behind Healthy People 2020 adult immunization goals, yet are particularly vulnerable to the adverse health consequences of vaccine preventable illness. Barriers to access through public health programs, such as significant beneficiary cost sharing under Medicare Part D and variations in immunization coverage under state Medicaid programs hinder public health and provider efforts to improve rates among these subgroups.
Targeted efforts are needed to address the specific challenges that vulnerable groups face in order to close the immunization gap and improve adult immunization coverage rates overall.
Comments on the Healthy People 2030 Framework
September 29, 2017 To Whom It May Concern: AVAC appreciates the opportunity to offer comments in response to the Healthy People 2030 Framework. As a stakeholder coalition interested in improving the health and wellbeing of adults through better access to immunization services, we value the work of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention on an approach ...
Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs
September 11, 2017 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Attention: CMS-1678-P P.O. Box 8013 Baltimore, MD 21244-1850 Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs To Whom It May Concern: As members of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), we appreciate the opportunity to comment on ...
RE: Medicare Program: Revisions to Payment Policies Under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2018; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; and Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program
September 11, 2017 Seema Verma Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Attention: CMS-1676-P P.O. Box 8016 Baltimore, MD 21244-8013 RE: Medicare Program: Revisions to Payment Policies Under Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2018; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; and Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Dear Administrator Verma: AVAC ...
RE: Medicare Program: CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program
August 21, 2017 Seema Verma Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Department of Health and Human Services Attention: CMS-5522-P P.O. Box 8013 Baltimore, MD 21244-8013 RE: Medicare Program: CY 2018 Updates to the Quality Payment Program Dear Administrator Verma: AVAC appreciates the opportunity to offer comments in response to the Medicare Program; Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative ...
Letter to Newly Appointed CDC Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald
Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. Director Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329 Dear Director Fitzgerald, As members of the Adult Vaccine Access Coalition (AVAC), we congratulate you on your recent appointment as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). We look ...