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Measure Would Require Health Plans To Fully Reimburse Doctors For Vaccinations

Audio

Aired 7/7/10

A bill that would require insurers to reimburse doctors for the actual cost of providing vaccines is making its way through the State Senate. Physicians say the current system is unfair.

— A bill that would require insurers to reimburse doctors for the actual cost of providing vaccines is making its way through the State Senate. Physicians say the current system is unfair.

A recent national survey shows one out of ten pediatricians say they're considering dropping vaccinations altogether. Doctors complain insurers don't fully reimburse them for the cost of the vaccines.

Dr. Sherry Franklin is a pediatrician in San Diego. She says she loses money on each one.

"But I'm also not being met in terms of my overhead," Franklin said. "I have specific staff that are available, especially during the flu season, to give out those vaccinations, and a dedicated room to provide those vaccinations to the hundreds or thousands of children coming in."

Health plans say they don't typically pay for doctors' indirect costs. Insurers say such a mandate would drive up their administrative expenses.

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