iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

Percent of Adults Who Received Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations

Percent of Adults Who Received Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccinations

Vaccination rate among entering kindergarten students dip only slightly

2011-12 school year kindergarteners in 47 reporting states and DC had a 1.5% median total exemption level for required vaccinations on medical, religious, and philosophic grounds, representing a median increase of 0.2 percentage points compared with the 2009–10 school year.

Source: “Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2011–12 School Year,’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 24, 2012,

Technology, applications and online access continue to drive innovation

MIT-built heart rate app is flush with success
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology-built application called Cardio permits users to determine their heart rates simply by staring at the smartphone display. “The app measures the amount of light reflected off the face, which matches up to the amount of blood pumped into the face,” writes Ariel Schwartz. Clinical trials show the app to be accurate within three beats of a gold-standard clinical pulse oximeter. FastCoExist (8/10)

Poll: Doctors drive health app downloads among baby boomers
A survey by Mitchell PR showed 60% of baby boomers surveyed said they were most likely to download a health application upon physician recommendation. Researchers also found 48% would download an app to monitor heart disease, diabetes or other chronic disease, and 47% would do so to track weight and exercise. American Medical News (free content) (8/13)

Social media connects, empowers health care providers
Social media site Doximity is allowing health care providers to create professional networks of specialists with whom to confer and to share patient records. “Utilizing socially rooted tools to collaborate among colleagues and experts [whom] we might not otherwise have access to improves care and improves the speed and efficiency with which we can offer that care,” said Dr. Howard Luks. USA TODAY (8/13)

ONC supports Ind. effort to boost access to vaccine records
A website called MyVaxIndiana, launched by Indiana public health officials to boost patient and parent access to immunization records, is receiving praise and support from the ONC. Parents can obtain a personal identification number from physicians to view the child’s immunization history and suggested vaccine schedules based on guidelines developed by the CDC. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (8/13

Health indicators for adolescents on the rise

Findings From the ‘America’s Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2012’ Report

A drop in births to adolescents, from 20 per 1,000 girls ages   15 to 17 (2009) to 17 per 1,000 (2010, preliminary data)
A drop in the proportion of infants born before 37 weeks’   gestation (preterm), from 12.2 percent (2009) to 12.0 percent (2010,   preliminary data)
A drop in deaths before the first birthday, from 6.4 per 1,000   births (2009) to 6.1 per 1,000 births (2010, preliminary data)
An increase in vaccination coverage with one dose or more of   the meningococcal conjugate vaccine for adolescents ages 13-17, from 12   percent (2006) to 63 percent (2010)
A drop in the percentage of children, birth to 6 years of age,   living in a home where someone smoked regularly, from 8.4 percent (2005) to   6.1 percent (2010)
A rise in the percentage of children from birth to 17 years of   age living in counties in which levels of one or more air pollutants were   above allowable levels, from 59 percent (2009) to 67 percent (2010)

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

Study: 46% of recommended screenings are missed during visits

Researchers who analyzed audio recordings of 484 annual checkups in southeast Michigan found that patients failed to get 46% of guideline-recommended preventive health services and counseling during routine health examinations. Breast cancer, colorectal cancer and hypertension screenings were the most delivered services, while counseling about aspirin use, vision tests and flu immunization were least likely to be delivered or discussed by providers. The findings appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

United Press International | 1/19

January 31, 2012 | Categories: healthcare,Prevention and Wellness,vaccine | Tags: , | Comments (0)

For First Time, Unicef Reveals Differences in Prices It Pays Drug Companies for Vaccines

The United Nations Children’s Fund on Friday publicly listed for the first time the price it pays for vaccines.

The decision — which immediately revealed wide disparities in what vaccine makers charge — could lead to drastic cuts in prices for vaccines that save millions of children’s lives.

Read more here:


Flu breakthrough promises a vaccine to kill all strains

Scientists at Oxford University have successfully tested a universal flu vaccine that could work against all known strains of the illness, taking a significant step in the fight against a disease that affects billions of people each year.

The treatment – using a new technique and tested for the first time on humans infected with flu – targets a different part of the flu virus to traditional vaccines, meaning it does not need expensive reformulation every year to match the most prevalent virus that is circulating the world.

Read more here:

Prostate cancer vaccine Provenge subject of lawsuits at federal level

Jan.09, 2011
For the second time in as many months, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finds itself named in a lawsuit related to the agency’s handling of the prostate cancer immunotherapy sipuleucel-T (Provenge).

Judicial Watch, a Washington-based public interest group, has sued HHS to gain access to documents related to the CMS decision to conduct a one-year national coverage analysis to assess whether the therapy is “reasonable and necessary,” thus qualifying for Medicare coverage.

According to a Freedom of Information Act request filed in last November, Judicial Watch wants access to “all records concerning CMS’ national coverage analysis of the vaccine Provenge, including but not limited to the criteria being used to analyze Provenge.”

The legal action apparently has evolved from a suspicion that the national coverage analysis is the first step toward cost-based healthcare rationing.

In a statement posted on the Judicial Watch website, representatives of the organization noted that sipuleucel-T “costs $93,000 to administer the three necessary treatments. Medicare and the FDA are legally prohibited from denying approval of a medical treatment based solely on cost. Yet, multiple press reports suggest that cost is the major factor in the unusual decision by CMS to undertake a review of the treatment which could signal a move by the Obama administration to begin implementing healthcare rationing based on the cost of treatments.”

More of Prostate cancer vaccine Provenge subject of lawsuits at federal level

Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Metstatic Breast Cancer

Targeted Immunotherapy Shows Promise in Penn Medicine Studies for Metastatic Breast and Pancreatic Cancers

CHICAGO – Early trials using targeted monoclonal antibodies in combination with existing therapies show promise in treating pancreatic cancer and metastatic breast cancer, according to research that will be presented by investigators from the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center at the 2010 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology June 4 through 8. One study uses an antibody to enhance the effectiveness of a breast cancer vaccine developed at Penn to treat women with advanced breast cancer, while a pancreatic cancer trial uses an immune-enhancing antibody to increase the effectiveness of a current standard drug used to treat pancreatic cancer. Source.

Vaccines an Effective and Efficient Prevention Strategy

CDC reports rise in flu vaccinations, pushes for more
More people were vaccinated against the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu this season than in any other season, according to a CDC report. The agency, however, continues to urge people to get the vaccines every year and is aiming for 60% coverage for adults and 90% coverage for people over age 65. National Post (Canada)/Reuters

May 1, 2010 | Categories: Cost,healthcare,vaccine | Tags: , , , , | Comments (0)
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