Chanda Sundara, CPHIT, CHP email@example.com (208) 383-5939
Carol Higgins, OTR (Ret), CPHQ firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), immunization rates among adults have historically been low and they vary between immunization types in the Medicare population. There is an even greater variation between racial and ethnic groups. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though influenza and pneumonia are preventable, combined they were the 8th leading cause of death in the United States in 2012. Qualis Health invites home health agencies across Idaho and Washington to join our Immunization Initiative. The goals of the Initiative are to improve 1) assessment and documentation of Medicare beneficiary immunization status, 2) increase overall immunization rates, 3) reduce the immunization disparities and, 4) increase reporting to the state immunization registry.
Home health agencies are an especially important setting for this work. Although home health agencies are not required to provide immunizations to Medicare beneficiaries, there is a strong need to go beyond just assessing immunization status and encouraging patients to obtain them from their physicians or community health providers.
*Data based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an ongoing, state-based, random-digit-dialed telephone survey of non-institutionalized civilian adults aged 18 years and older. Get more information about BRFSS.