By Judy Packer-Tursman
Confronting the worst measles outbreak in the U.S. in a quarter century, some health care organizations are taking innovative steps.
As part of its containment effort, CDC is urging people who know they received an earlier formulation of measles vaccine that was given to fewer than 1 million people between 1963 and 1968 and is no longer used to talk to their doctor about getting revaccinated with the current, live measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Most insurers seem to be engaging in generalized outreach to members, though Priority Health tells AIS Health that concern about some people getting the ineffective measles vaccine in the 1960s prompted its recent communication efforts.
Priority Health has sent “proactive communications and recommendations throughout our network, including providing information to our provider network and partners, and our sales teams to inform our commercial clients,” Priority Health spokesperson Aaron Miller says. The thrust of Priority Health’s communications is ensuring that members know the MMR vaccine is covered at no cost for most of them when they get the shot from an in-network provider, he says.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey recently posted a “measles alert” on its home page, “and we are about to amplify the messaging and content through our social media channels,” spokesperson Thomas Vincz said May 8.
On April 29, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Maryland put out a reminder that members in its Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., service area may obtain a measles vaccine at no cost from their in-network primary care provider.