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A Coordinated, Communitywide Program in Monroe County, New York, to Increase Influenza Immunization Rates in the Elderly

Nancy M. Bennett, MD, MS; Bonnie Lewis; Andrew S. Doniger, MD, MPH; Karen Bell, MD; Ruth Kouides, MD; F. Marc LaForce, MD; William Barker, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(15):1741-1745. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420150117011.
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Background:  Despite the efficacy of influenza vaccination in preventing complications of influenza, rates of immunization among high-risk populations remain low. The Monroe County (New York) Influenza Vaccination Demonstration was a communitywide, collaborative effort to increase the rates of influenza immunization to greater than 60% in elderly Medicare recipients.

Methods:  The local health department, university medical center, and practicing physicians collaborated to develop a communitywide demonstration directed to all Medicare part B enrollees 65 years of age or older; multiple coordinated approaches were used over a 4-year period (1988 to 1992). Most providers, including public agencies, private providers, hospital outpatient facilities, nursing homes, and insurance providers, were enrolled in a comprehensive program that included centralized claims processing, vaccine distribution and promotion, and extensive provider and public education efforts, including a special urban outreach program. An office-based, denominator-driven physician incentive project was also evaluated.

Results:  The demonstration project resulted in a 1991 influenza immunization rate of 74.3% among 88 811 Medicare enrollees 65 years of age or older. The increase in immunization rate occurred primarily among the patients of private physicians.

Conclusion:  A communitywide, collaborative approach can succeed in achieving high rates of influenza immunization.(Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:1741-1745)


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