Barriers to the use of herpes zoster vaccine.

The Children's Hospital of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, USA.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 16.1). 05/2010; 152(9):555-60. DOI: 10.1059/0003-4819-152-9-201005040-00005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The herpes zoster vaccine is the most expensive vaccine recommended for older adults and the first vaccine to be reimbursed through Medicare Part D. Early uptake has been 2% to 7% nationally.
To assess current vaccination practices, knowledge and practice regarding reimbursement, and barriers to vaccination among general internists and family medicine physicians.
Mail and Internet-based survey, designed through an iterative process and conceptually based on the Health Belief Model.
National survey conducted from July to September 2008.
General internists and family medicine physicians.
Survey responses on current vaccination practices, knowledge and practice regarding reimbursement, and barriers to vaccination.
Response rates were 72% in both specialties (301 general internists and 297 family medicine physicians). Physicians in both specialties reported similar methods for delivering vaccine, which included stocking and administering the vaccine in their offices (49%), referring patients to a pharmacy to purchase the vaccine and bring it back to the office for administration (36%), and referring patients to a pharmacy for vaccine administration (33%). Eighty-eight percent of providers recommend herpes zoster vaccine and 41% strongly recommend it, compared with more than 90% who strongly recommend influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. For physicians in both specialties, the most frequently reported barriers to vaccination were financial. Only 45% of respondents knew that herpes zoster vaccine is reimbursed through Medicare Part D. Of respondents who began administering herpes zoster vaccine in their office, 12% stopped because of cost and reimbursement issues.
Survey results represent reported but not observed practice. Surveyed providers may not be representative of all providers.
Physicians are making efforts to provide herpes zoster vaccine but are hampered by barriers, particularly financial ones. Efforts to facilitate the financing of herpes zoster vaccine could help increase its use.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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