The 36th National Immunization Conference of CDC

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Homebound Flu Vaccination Program

Kristin L Kazem, Inova HealthSource, Inova Health System, 2832 Juniper Street, Suite 201, Fairfax, VA, USA

Flu, Barriers to Vaccination

The Fight the Flu Campaign vaccinated more than 80,000 people in 2001. Many homebound residents are at high-risk for flu complications, but cannot get to community clinics or to physicians for vaccinations and do not receive skilled home health care. Medicare does not pay for home visits solely for flu vaccinations. The Homebound Fight the Flu program was created to increase vaccination rates for this population.

The primary objectives of the Fight the Flu Campaign are:
1. To educate the community about influenza and the importance of flu vaccinations, especially for people at high-risk for complications.
2. To offer flu vaccinations at affordable rates and at convenient times and locations in order to increase vaccination rates.

It is difficult for many high-risk Northern Virginia residents to see physicians for annual influenza vaccinations, due to physical limitations. To improve accessibility for this population, the Homebound Fight the Flu program was developed.
Physicians, public health nurses and home health agencies make referrals. Inova HealthSource supplements the vaccination program of the Inova VNA home health, who vaccinates current clients, but not former clients who remain homebound.
Intake information includes name, address, and other demographic and billing information. Nurses are assigned and clients contacted to set up mutually agreeable appointment times. Visits are accomplished within seven to ten days of initial call.
Nominal fees are charged for home visits and Medicare is billed for vaccinations.

In 2001, 73 homebound flu shots were given, a 50% increase over 2000. Families and physicians are relieved this resource is available for homebound patients.

The Homebound Fight the Flu program is a model that can meet the vaccinations needs of high-risk homebound clients.

At the conclusion of the session, the participant will describe one successful model that increases vaccination rates in the homebound population.

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