Ohio childhood vaccines down, state launches Medicaid initiative


Three programs are being launched

Image by LuAnn Hunt from Pixabay

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – As people were staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some children were not kept up to date on their childhood vaccinations.

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics confirmed a notable decline in routine pediatric vaccination rates due to the pandemic. 

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has joined forces with the five Medicaid managed care organizations (MCO) to introduce new initiatives to address those gaps.

Three programs being launched are:

  • Increasing mobile immunization capabilities. Providers that have mobile care units (e.g. hospital systems and health departments) are working with Medicaid and the MCOs to orchestrate immunization events in neighborhoods where a high percentage of Medicaid children need vaccinations. The MCOs help identify Medicaid childhood immunization events-week of Oct. 19 and bolster attendance through member outreach and incentives.
  • Providing outreach and scheduling support to Vaccines for Children (VFC) program providers for immunization. Partnering Comprehensive Primary Care for Kids/VFC practices identify children with vaccine gaps and connect with their families and caregivers to schedule appointments, eliminate barriers (e.g., transportation), and follow up afterward.
  • Expanding options for families to obtain vaccinations by growing the network. This initiative will reimburse providers not enrolled in Medicaid or the VFC program until the immunization gap is reduced.

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