Background: Moved or gone elsewhere (MOGE) status affects the completeness of reminder / recall notifications and vaccination coverage assessments conducted through immunization information systems (IIS). The United States Postal Service (USPS) collects change of address information although little is known about its feasibility and effectiveness to increase IIS address accuracy. Objectives:
Objectives:To assess the degree to which updated contact information can be obtained for persons with MOGE status in a statewide IIS using USPS National Change of Address (NCOALink) data.
Methods: Children ≤19 years with MOGE status in 12 public health jurisdictions were identified from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). Address information was evaluated for completeness and standardized using Zip + 4® coding. Standardized contact information was matched with the prior 48 months’ NCOALink data, first using parent/ guardian’s name, then using child’s name. Frequency of matches were summarized by population characteristics and differences were assessed using X2 tests.
Results: A total of 65,313 MOGE records were selected, of which 19,496 (30%) could be Zip + 4® standardized. Overall, 2,715 (4%) records matched NCOALink data using parent/ guardian name; most of these forwarding addresses (1,753) had been provided to the USPS more than 18 months prior. Among the 16,781 standardized records not matched using parent name, an additional 297 (2%) had a forwarding address matched on child name. In total, 3,012 (5%) of sampled MOGE records could be matched with a forwarding address in NCOALink. Matching success was 23% for children ≤18 months; 30% for 19-35 months; 25% for 36-71 months; 6% 6-10 years; and 2%for 11-19 years (p<0.001).
Conclusions: NCOALink can be used with limited success to locate forwarding addresses for children designated as MOGE. Matching was most successful among younger children and least successful among adolescents. Other strategies to reconcile addresses for children designated as MOGE are warranted, particularly those providing information for adolescents.
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