The Pulaski County Health Department is working with VaxCare to administer a program that will allow the Department to continue vaccinating insured patients.
The Indiana State Department of Health announced last year that the Immunization Program would no longer support insured patients. This practice will be effective March 1st of this year for some health departments.
Billing changes are on their way to the Pulaski County Health Department. Terri Hansen of the Health Department said that they have signed up for VaxCare, a company who will be not only providing them with vaccines and other supplies, but will handle their insurance billing as well.
Immunization eligibility requirements are changing as of January 1st, 2012.
All childhood immunizations are administered by the local health departments for free of charge, but due to funding constraints, eligibility requirements are changing. The State will only be providing childhood vaccines to the local health departments that have patrons who are on any type of Medicaid insurance, who are American Indian/Alaskan Native children, and those who are underinsured. “Underinsured” is defined as having no insurance, insurance that does not cover vaccines or the insurance caps vaccine coverage at a certain amount.
The Pulaski County Health Department is teaming up with Pulaski County Human Services to fight hunger this holiday season.
If you bring a non-perishable food item to the Pulaski County Health Department, you will receive $3.00 off for each child administration fee for vaccines now through November 30th. A non-perishable food item is needed for each vaccine the child is receiving to be discounted at the time of your appointment.
We’re entering into the fall season and there has been a lot of information about the flu as we get into the flu season.
Starke County Health Nurse Frank Lynch told WKVI that he is ordering flu shot supplies and he will hold evening flu clinics so you can get your flu shot for the season. When he gets the supply, he will also be able to administer flu shots during immunization hours on Tuesdays by appointment.
The Pulaski County Health Department will be offering a walk-in clinic on Monday, August 15th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. ET for children that still need their immunizations for school.
Children in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade can receive immunizations for $8.00 per shot and if you are on Medicaid, you will need to bring a Medicaid card with you and Medicaid will be billed directly. Parents should take the child’s immunization card with you at the time of the visit.
Beginning Friday, July 1st, the Pulaski County Health Department will no longer be able to give vaccinations to children with insurance that covers vaccines. These children will need to be taken to their health care provider for immunizations.
Terri Hansen of the Pulaski County Health Department informed the Commissioners this week that she has received a letter from the entire health board requesting permission to hire the current part-time nurse as full-time, which would help tremendously with the amount of work they are now required to do. Last week, the Health Department began charging an administrative fee for vaccinations and other shots, and this has been generating roughly $200 per day. With this new income, hiring the employee full-time should not be a problem, especially since the additional cost of the employee would be covered by the Master Tobacco grant money, and the only cost to the county would be to cover her benefits.
A new fee schedule for the Pulaski County Health Department was approved by the County Commissioners on Monday.
“We came to the Commissioners to ask for them to approve a new fee schedule; we are going to now start charging for childhood vaccines an administrative fee of $8 per shot. For people who are on Medicaid, they will not need to pay that at time of services, we will be filing that with Medicaid because we are soon becoming a Medicaid provider,” said Terri Hansen of the Pulaski County Health Department.
Part of the necessity of this fee comes from the Departments’ desire to change one of their part-time nurses to a full-time nurse. Due to new guidelines and programs implemented by the state, a larger portion of the nurse’s time is dedicated to these programs, which means less time to perform other duties.
Hansen hopes that the change in the fee schedule will bring more money into the fund and make it easier to convince the Council and the Commissioners to approve the full-time position. The cost for the full-time nurse would be $37,000. The county already pays $22,000, and a grant would cover the remaining amount. The only money the county would need to come up with would be the money to cover the employee’s benefits, but with the new fee schedule, Hansen feels that shouldn’t be a problem.
Pulaski County Public Health Nurse, Andrea Keller, told WKVI that influenza activity is widespread in Indiana and has been identified in Pulaski County. Influenza A and B are the strains that have been reported to her office, but no cases of the H1N1 flu have been reported. We are currently in the middle of the peak flu season.
State and local health officials have news for parents this cold and flu season. Antibiotics don’t work for a cold or the flu.
According to public opinion research, there is a perception that “antibiotics cure everything”. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can do more harm than good. Widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics fuel an increase in drug-resistant bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistance is the world’s most pressing public health problem. Americans of all ages can lower this risk by talking to their doctors and using antibiotics appropriately during this cold and flu season.
Influenza has not been a big scare yet in Starke or Pulaski Counties.
Starke County Health Nurse, Frank Lynch, said that flu numbers are down right now and no cases of H1N1 have been reported. Whooping cough has been a great concern around the state this season but no cases have been reported in Starke County. Lynch would like to remind Starke County residents that flu shots are available at his office, both adult and child doses. He also recommends that residents wash their hands frequently to avoid getting the flu and spreading germs. Call the Health Department at (574) 772-9137 to make an appointment to get your flu shot.