Group purchasing: Save money by aligning with other physicians

Medical Economics recently published an article highlighting the benefits of partnering with a group purchasing organization (GPO) or physician buying group (PBG). Practices can expect savings ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent by joining such a group. Highlights include:

  • Don’t base your GPO choice on what your hospital uses. Physician offices have different needs than hospitals. Find a group that fits your specific needs.
  • Revisit pricing every year or two and compare groups. The needs of a practice can change over time, and there is no one size fits all solution.
  • Know the difference between a GPO and PBG. GPOs are membership organizations that offer discounts on most everything involved in a medical practice such as capital equipment, supplies, and services. PBGs also offer discounts on supplies and services, but they primarily serve as vaccine buying groups. Due to their vaccine focus, PBGs are able to provide superior pricing.
  • Let your vendors do the work of pricing. Put your top purchased items out for bid to ensure you are getting the best price.
  • Check if your distributor performs additional services like stocking and ordering supplies.

To read more, visit Medical Economics online.

CPP 2nd Dose Grant

This post is the second in a series on increasing adolescent immunizations. For a case study on how one health system increased their overall adolescent vaccination rates, see our previous post.

The CPP 2nd Dose Program provides an opportunity to examine your practice’s 2nd dose immunization rates for vaccines that require more than one dose to complete the series, access resources to help implement a strategy in your office to raise those rates, and share successful strategies with other CPP members. Applicable vaccines include meningococcal ACWY, HPV, adult pneumococcal and/or adult hepatitis B (Heplisav-B only). 

The tables below show immunization rates for these vaccines for the most recent year available from the CDC:

National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13-17 Years—United States, 2017

Vaccine Coverage Among Adults in the United States, National Health Interview Survey, 2016

Participants in CPP’s 2nd Dose Program have already seen successes. Over 77% of member participants reported that their 2nd dose immunization rates were lower than they expected when they pulled the initial data from their EMR. After implementing an intervention in their practice to help improve these rates, participants saw a rise in their HPV and MCV4 completion rates by an average of 29% and 41%, respectively! 

Some best practices that were shared by the group include:

Check out the CPP 2nd Dose Program website for updated resources and details on how your practice can participate in this $1,000 grant opportunity!

How a Large Health System Increased Adolescent Vaccination Rates

This post is the first in a series on adolescent vaccination.

When Sanford Health, a rural not-for-profit health system based in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Iowa, took a look at their adolescent vaccination rates, they were shocked by what they found. Baseline rates for the completion of the HPV series ranged from 15%-29% in their clinics, and rates for completion of the Meningococcal series ranged from just 8%-38%. Sanford decided to make system-wide changes to improve their adolescent vaccination rates.

Sanford began by creating an immunization strategy department lead by the Immunization Strategy Manager. A cross-department team gathered to form an enterprise immunization committee and craft a plan. The initial stage focused on increasing administration of the HPV vaccine at a test group of seven clinics. The strategy consisted of three parts:

  • Providers were given their immunization rates as well as those of their colleagues. This put accurate data into the providers’ hands and engendered a sense of competition between staff.
  • Sanford emphasized a “no missed vaccination opportunity” culture, encouraging providers to assess immunization status for every patient at every encounter.
  • The system sent reminder and recall letters to parents of adolescents.

Over the two year test period, HPV completion rates increased by an average of 15%, and zero-dose rates decreased an average of 22%. Armed with this data, Sanford made plans to expand the program. The organization added standing orders for most vaccines, enabling RNs, LPNs, and MAs to administer immunizations. These orders eliminated more missed opportunities and empowered staff to own their immunization rates.

Sanford, with the help of the Immunization Action Coalition and Sanofi Pasteur, also created a curriculum to train people to become immunization champions. The VAX Champ program created immunization champions content experts for each clinic. The program also trained its students to examine current vaccination rates and create plans to improve them. These interventions saw first and second dose rates for MenACWY climb steadily. In some clinics, second dose rates more than doubled.

Sanford Health’s efforts helped to not only increase adolescent vaccination rates but also advanced their mission to improve patient health. These steps can be applied to healthcare systems or offices of any size. Sanford’s success shows that with dedication and a solid plan adolescent immunization rates can improve.

Next in this series is a guide to CPP’s 2nd Dose Program that rewards members for improving second dose rates of several immunizations, including those that Sanford highlighted. For more information, visit our website.

Sanofi Pasteur’s Adacel (Tdap) Vaccine FDA Approved for Repeat Vaccination after 8 Years

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the Adacel (Tdap) vaccine to be administered as soon as 8 years after a previous dose. Adacel, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, provides immunity to tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. The vaccine is approved for patients ages 10-64, and is available in a syringe made without natural rubber latex.

The current CDC recommendations for Tdap are as follows:

  • Adolescents should receive a single dose, preferably at age 11 or 12
  • All pregnant women should receive a single dose during pregnancy, preferably between weeks 27 and 36. By receiving this vaccine, pregnant mothers pass antibodies to their babies, reducing the risk of whooping cough.
  • Adults should receive a single dose of Tdap followed by a booster Td every 10 years.

FDA approval was based on clinical data from a study that showed no significant differences in adverse events when adults received Adacel versus Td 8-12 years after a previous dose of Adacel.  The approval of Adacel administration every 8 years provides more flexibility for physicians in both vaccine purchasing decisions and immunizations scheduling. Sanofi has provided study results to the CDC for consideration in future recommendations.

For more information or to purchase Adacel or any other immunization, visit our website or send us an email

AAP Releases “Immunization Information Technology Guide” for pediatricians

At CPP’s recent Vaccine Management Summit, 2D barcoding stood out as a topic of interest among attendees. CPP members will find a new AAP guide helpful as they continue to learn about this technology.

The AAP recently released a guide for pediatricians with information on two key information technology topics: immunization information systems and two dimensional barcoding. In addition, the AAP provides a detailed website for both topics that summarizes the information found in the new guide and provides relevant links.

Immunization Information Systems, also known as vaccine or immunization registries, are confidential computerized systems that capture vaccination data across the lifespan within a certain geographical area. The use of these systems can reduce healthcare costs and improve patient care. The benefits to pediatric practices of using these systems include minimizing duplicate vaccine administration, aiding in recalling patients overdue for vaccinations, reminding patients of upcoming immunizations, and identifying vulnerable patients during a disease outbreak.

Two Dimensional Barcode Scanning Technology can be used with the majority of pediatric vaccines. Recent studies show that the use of 2D scanning increase accuracy in vaccine documentation and reduces documentation time by an average of 21 seconds. 2D barcode scanning improves practice efficiency, increases vaccine inventory accuracy, and assists in proper billing. In addition, the technology benefits patients by improving safety and documentation, reducing errors, and identifying expired vaccines before they are administered to patients. The AAP’s 2D barcoding resources include practice uses, choosing a scanner, and getting the scanner to “work.”   

For practices not yet ready to implement 2D barcoding, CPP has other resources to help manage your vaccine inventory including a Vaccine Inventory Reconciliation Sheet. These resources can be found on our website.

Vaccine Confidence Webinar Now Available On-Demand

Sanofi Pasteur hosted a webinar in April entitled Vaccine Confidence: The Key to Communicating with Parents and Patients.  A recording of the webinar, which was attended by over 600 medical professionals, is now available to you on-demand.  Speakers include Gary S. Marshall, MD from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Carole H. Moloney, RN, MSN, CPNP from Boston Medical Center.

Simply go to http://vacadvwebcast2017.prihcs.com to register.

Tools to Improve Flu Literacy!

Customizeable resources to help improve flu literacy in your patient population are now available through Sanofi Pasteur.  You can choose between a pediatric version and an adult version, depending on the patients you see in your practice.  You can also add your practice logo and contact information so your patients know who to contact with questions or to schedule their flu shot!

For more information or to customize this resource for your practice, contact your local Sanofi Pasteur representative or the CPP Office at cpp@nationwidechildrens.org.

 

 

In light of recent hurricanes, have you taken the time to review your practice emergency vaccine storage and handling plan recently?

Vaccines are expensive so having a plan to consult when an emergency presents itself is essential.

*Review your plan to update it and maintain familiarity with the plan.
*All staff should know how to find the emergency plan.
*At least 2 practice leaders should organize the emergency response and completely understand the steps of the emergency plan.
*It should be clear where the vaccine will go in case storage units are no longer operational.
*Transport storage units should be kept in a easy to find place, preferably close to the vaccine refrigerators.
*Make sure to consult the vaccine manufacturers and your VFC representative during and after the process.