Addressing Declining Pediatric Immunization Rates in Wake of COVID-19

  • 01 Jul 2020

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island Approves Funding for Pediatric Immunization Quality Improvement Project

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island approved a grant for CTC-RI/PCMH KIDS to provide state-wide technical quality improvement support to assist practices with outreaching to school-aged children (ages 4-6) that are in need of measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations which have declined based on COVID-19.

The new findings of the problem of declining child and adolescent immunization rates come from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report containing data on vaccine ordering through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The data show from mid-March to mid-April, doctors in the VFC program ordered about 2.5 million fewer doses of all routine non-influenza vaccines and 250,000 fewer doses of measles-containing vaccines compared to the same period in 2019.The number of doses of measles-containing vaccine administered at Vaccine Safety Datalink sites also declined in mid-March, especially among older children. Administration of these vaccines started to pick up again among children 2 years and under, but remained lower than before the emergency declaration. Consistent with national data, RI KIDSNET reports show a corresponding decline in Rhode Island immunization and lead screening rates.

CTC-RI/PCMH KIDS will be working with leadership from Rhode Island Department of Health Immunization Quality Improvement Program, KIDSNET and RIPIN to provide a state-wide learning network and technical quality improvement assistance program to support practices that participate in the VFC program with improving childhood immunization rates that have declined based on the impact of COVID-19.


PCMH KIDS COHORT 3: Opportunity to Earn Performance Year 1 Incentive Payment Based on Improving Immunizations (Measles-Mumps-Rubella) for School-Aged Children

For practices that are in PCMH KIDS Cohort 3, CTC-RI/PCMH KIDS is happy to announce that the health plans have unanimously approved a one-time change to the incentive eligibility requirements and payment schedule. The change in performance standards was approved based on the anticipated impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability of practices to meet performance targets for clinical quality, ED utilization and customer experience. For 2020-21, the incentive eligibility requirements will focus on assisting school-aged children (ages 4-6) catch up with immunizations, with a specific focus on M-M-R. Components of the 2020-2021 Incentive Plan can be found here.