The 2016-2017 influenza season is winding down, and hopefully you have used up all your influenza vaccine supply. Right?
As a former office manager, I realize that answer is probably no, and you actually have a lot of leftovers. An essential part of running a medical practice is using your electronic health record or billing system to find the correct number. Determining the amount of flu vaccines you billed over the past two or three flu seasons should help you estimate the number you should order for the 2017-2018 season. Be sure to take into account if your patient panel has grown or decreased. Not only will you be better prepared for the next season but also you can take advantage now of the prebooking options offered by various vaccine manufacturers and distributors.
Prebooking is when you turn in your vaccine order for the upcoming flu season order in advance, typically by the end of March. Admittedly, it is difficult to manage this number effectively because you are doing it an average of five to six months ahead of when you will need the vaccine in your clinic. The manufacturers and distributors have programs available that can help you manage your inventory as well as keep your costs down. Some prebooking programs have matrixes to help determine the number of vaccines to order, staggered shipping, order forgiveness, and volume discounts. These factors can lead to diminished costs, which, of course, can lead to greater profit margins.
You are encouraged to contact the major manufacturers and distributors directly to see what their individual prebooking programs offer. These will vary based on your practice size, patient panels, and volume discounts. Here is contact information for some of the manufacturers:
• Sanofi Pasteur (www.VaccineShoppe.com) 800-822-2463
• GlaxoSmithKline (www.gskdirect.com) 866-475-8222
• Seqirus (www.flu.seqirus.com) 855-358-8966
• Protein Sciences (www.flublok.com) 203-686-0800
– Barbie Hays, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, CEMC, Coding and Compliance Strategist for the American Academy of Family Physicians
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