Tonight I will be leaving for New York in order to present a paper at the Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference.
The paper is titled “Adam Smith meets Paulus Salk: Estimating the social cost of influenza vaccination regulation.” This research has been performed in conjunction with John Fontanesi (UCSD), Mark Messonnier (CDC), and Bo-Hyun Cho (CDC). Below is an abstract from the paper. The Healthcare Economist blog will return with new posts next week.
Influenza is the 7th leading killer in the United States. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend that all parents of children between 0 and 60 months old should be vaccinated. Insurance companies, however, will not compensate pediatricians who administer influenza vaccinations to adults. This seemingly innocuous insurance company regulation, however, is creating large costs for society. Using an new observational data from a standardized workflow analysis tool, the cost of vaccination and the cost of the prohibition of pediatrician vaccination of adults is estimated. This paper finds the cost of the regulation to be between $4.4 and $140.5 million. If CDC policies altered its policies so that all parents of children 0 to 18 years old were required to receive and annual influenza vaccination, the cost of the regulation could increase to a figure as large as $417.5 million.