AMA advises physicians to order influenza vaccine

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In order to ensure the availability of influenza vaccine for administration early this coming fall, the AMA recommends that physicians and providers begin to order supplies of influenza vaccine immediately. In 2003, large numbers of cases of influenza began to appear in October, and activity was widespread. Anticipation of increased demand for vaccine in the Fall of 2004 makes it imperative that physicians and providers who care for Medicare beneficiaries and others at high risk for complications from influenza begin to prepare for the 2004-05 influenza season immediately.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), while the recently enacted Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 changed the Medicare payments for many covered drugs and biologicals, the basis for Medicare payment of influenza vaccine will continue to be 95 percent of the average wholesale price.

Each year, the AMA convenes public health experts from around the country in its National Influenza Summit. The Summit includes discussion on vaccine production, recommendations for vaccination and general influenza prevention. The conference takes place April 13-14 – stay tuned to the AMA Web site for coverage of this event.


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