Costs of adult vaccination in medical settings and pharmacies: an observational study.J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2014 Sep; 20(9):930-6.JM
Community pharmacies are a convenient setting for vaccinating adults against infectious diseases in the United States. Whether the costs paid for vaccination in pharmacies differ from those in medical settings is unclear.
To examine whether the direct medical costs paid for adult vaccination differ by vaccination setting.
This was an observational retrospective study using 2010 MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and Medicare Supplemental and Coordination of Benefits databases. Adults receiving herpes zoster or shingles vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine 23-valent, or influenza vaccines were identified using Current Procedural Terminology codes and National Drug Code numbers from medical and pharmacy claims files, respectively, between January 1 and December 31, 2010, in 1 of the following 3 settings: physician offices; other medical settings (e.g., inpatient/outpatient hospitals, emergency rooms); and pharmacies. Patients were adults aged ≥60 years on the date of zoster vaccination and aged ≥19 years on the date of pneumococcal or influenza vaccinations. The final study samples meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria were 54,042 for zoster vaccine, 154,994 for pneumococcal vaccine, and 1,657,264 for influenza vaccine. The vaccination costs included the health plan and enrollee paid amounts for the product; vaccine administration; dispensing fee; and, where applicable, the visit. The mean (SD) vaccination costs paid per vaccine administration were estimated by vaccine and type of setting, overall, and by geographic region and type of health plan. The costs paid for the same vaccine across vaccination settings were compared using analysis of variance with post hoc tests (Tukey).
Of those receiving zoster, pneumococcal, and influenza vaccines, 25%, 1%, and 7%, respectively, received the vaccines at a pharmacy. Compared with other U.S. regions, pharmacy-based vaccination for these 3 vaccines was generally more frequent in the West and the South. Overall, the mean (SD) costs paid per enrollee per vaccine administration at physician offices, other medical settings, and pharmacies were as follows: for zoster vaccine, $208.72 (42.10), $209.51 (50.83), and $168.50 (15.66), respectively (P <0.05); for pneumococcal vaccine, $65.69 (27.54), $72.11 (49.95), and $54.98 (9.72), respectively (P <0.05); and for influenza vaccine, $29.29 (15.29), $24.20 (13.12), and $21.57 (6.63), respectively (P <0.05). The mean amounts paid also differed by geographic region and type of health plan, with costs usually lower for the vaccinations given at pharmacies.
The average direct costs paid per adult vaccination were lower in pharmacies compared with physician offices and other medical settings by 16%-26% and 11%-20%, respectively. These results were mostly consistent across geographic regions and types of health plans. These data may help payers and policymakers understand the economic value of adult vaccination in different settings, especially in pharmacies.