CDC: HPV vaccination low in managed care plans

Female adolescents in the U.S. with health insurance had low HPV vaccination in 2013, according to an October 29 synopsis in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Increasing delivery of HPV vaccination at the recommended ages of 11 or 12 years, before most adolescents are exposed to the virus, will help ensure adolescents are protected against cancers caused by HPV infections," the report noted (MMWR, October 30, 2015, Vol. 64:42, pp. 1185-1189).

To determine whether the recommended HPV vaccination series is currently being administered to adolescents with health insurance, the CDC and the National Committee for Quality Assurance assessed 2013 data from the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set. The study evaluated the proportion of female adolescent members in commercial and Medicaid health plans who completed the recommended HPV vaccination series by age 13.

In 2013, the median HPV vaccination coverage level for female adolescents among commercial and Medicaid plans was 12% and 19%, respectively (ranges = 0% to 34% for commercial plans, 5% to 52% for Medicaid plans).

"The results of this study indicate there are significant opportunities for improvement since HPV vaccination coverage among female adolescents was low for both commercial and Medicaid plans," the authors concluded.

The CDC encourages clinicians to recommend HPV vaccination the same way and same day they recommend other vaccines for adolescents, according to the report.

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