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*** UPDATED x1 *** Nearly 200,000 kids face new and confusing vaccine rules

Friday, Sep 30, 2016

* Just this week…


* But

The state of Illinois has abruptly changed the rules for providing vaccines to children from low-income families, putting tens of thousands of them at risk of potentially not getting their immunizations on time.

In late August the Illinois Department of Public Health told doctors that children covered by the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Plan for low-income families would no longer get their vaccines for free. Children covered by Medicaid can still get free vaccines, but for those 185,347 children covered by CHIP, doctors will have to privately order vaccines from suppliers and wait to be reimbursed by the state.

This new policy presents a sizable challenge for doctors and parents. And it goes into effect Oct. 1.

“This is an ill-advised change happening at far too fast a pace,” said Dr. Edward Pont, a pediatrician in Elmhurst. “What was the impetus to change this program? It seemed to be working extremely well. Illinois immunization rates were on a statewide level always fine. Now here we have this major change with very little fanfare, very little warning. Our concern is it is going to cause a severe disruption.”

If you read the entire article, you’ll see that this new policy was pushed by the Center for Disease Control. Several states have already done this, including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Without this change, I’m told, IDPH would run the risk that the CDC won’t continue providing vaccines free of charge to the state.

* But, frankly, I don’t care who is responsible. This needs to get cleared up pronto…


The change was announced in late August. Providers are confused and screaming bloody murder. This all takes effect tomorrow. Yesterday, the governor said he didn’t know anything about it. He might wanna think about dumping that deadline and put off the change until next year.

*** UPDATE ***  From IDPH…

Hi Rich

I want to clarify some information in your post. First, I would like to provide information about the eight-week transition period. I’ve attached the letter we sent to providers.

Illinois is committed to every child being immunized. For parents or guardians of a child covered by Medicaid or by CHIP, their child’s eligibility for free vaccines has not changed. What has changed is the way doctors obtain and get paid for vaccines. Some providers may choose not to provide free vaccines to children covered by Medicaid or CHIP.

The change was required because, for years, many doctors had not been doing the necessary work of determining a child’s eligibility for a vaccine (e.g. do they qualify under the Vaccines For Children program or CHIP), and then submitting the proper paperwork to HFS (the entity that administers CHIP). Because many physicians were failing to provide this billing paperwork, HFS has not been able to channel the appropriate reimbursement for children in CHIP to the CDC. For good reason, the CDC has requested that Illinois, and many other states, alter their process to ensure that the proper reimbursement occurs. Without making such a change, IDPH runs the risk that the CDC will no longer continue to provide vaccines free of charge to the State for the VFC program.

Thank you for helping us get the correct information out to parents who are concerned about immunizations for their children.

Melaney Arnold
Illinois Department of Public Health
Public Information Officer

The attachment is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Handle Bar Mustache - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    Inept!


  2. - DownStateGrl - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    There were changes made that impacted higher ed students as well. And it seemingly just came out of nowhere in August. Some kids were already moved in and out of network from their parents’ insurance (some of these vaccines cost around $150 each). Schools run on academic years (which conveniently coincide with the State’s fiscal years) - not calendar years. You can’t pop out new requirements on students and their families in August for that school year. It is hard enough to get kids in for annual physicals as it is but most already had all that done and taken care of… And for many just the extra time and cost required to take off work and the money for the copay to go back again? VERY poorly executed.


  3. - Henry Francis - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    Stuff like this is governin’ and not a priority with the Guv. Not when Obed and Issacs is opening a new restaurant and there is some tweetin’ to be done.


  4. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:14 pm:

    Like the Governor cares people! How many heartless acts does it take before people start to realize that he just doesn’t care. He’s got no social agenda people NONE!


  5. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    Governor Sgt. Schultz- “I know nothing”???


  6. - yeah - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    The Governor knows all about it, pushed for it, approved it and over the summer released a document showing $800 to $900 million in Waste he had sliced from the budget. Rich posted the document here on Capitol fax in June or July? Vaccines for low income children, waste in the budget, the poll tax of Public Education, planned, executed, and gloated over. But when asked the Governor goes Orwellian and claims he knows nothing about it and will have to research it. Tier I level BS’er.


  7. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    Meanwhile we’re getting all bent out of shape by elderly Mr. Esparza who had his views mis represented in a mailer. Yah, that outweighs 185,347 kids not getting vaccines. I get that SEIU should have cleared it. Their responsibility their bad. But the good veteran is getting care 4 days a week and wants more. 185,347 are going to possibly not get care because they can’t afford it. With all due respect sir, your party is callous and malicious.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Maybe we can get a supply from the doctor who just got suspended by DFPR for making his own “vaccines” out of vodka and cat saliva, amongst other things. I wish I was joking.


  9. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    Can I have extra cat saliva and vodka, please?


  10. - Honeybear - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    To the update, okay then that’s very different. Thank you for posting the update. I do feel for providers who haven’t been paid by the state in forever though. Seems like they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I hope they choose to continue to provide care to the CHIP kids.

    For those of you who saw my previous post I apologize.


  11. - SAP - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==CPS is threatening to lockout kids Oct. 15th if vaccines aren’t up to date== I probably shouldn’t be snarky about a self-inflicted public health emergency, but how is CPS going to lock anyone out while the teachers are on their 5th day of their strike?


  12. - WETHEPEOPLE - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 2:37 pm:

    Apparently, the administration doesn’t understand the primary purpose of public health is prevention. The cost of preventive vaccines are a whole lot less than the costs of disease and fighting a preventable outbreak. And while we’re at it, it ought to as easy as possible to get the vaccines!


  13. - working stiff - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    keep the people poor, sick and uneducated so they work for pennies. a return to the late 1800’s


  14. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 3:30 pm:

    Could we create a list of what our governor is actually doing/knows about


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