Researchers examined the role of primary care physicians and other clinicians in delivering vaccinations in the United States. They used two main datasets to create an in-depth analysis of services delivered to Medicare patients, followed by analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to determine where patients are getting vaccinated and by whom. In the 2017 Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service, primary care physicians provided the largest share of services for vaccinations (46%), followed by mass immunizers (45%), then nurse practitioners/physician assistants (5%). The MEPS showed that primary care physicians provided a majority of clinical visits for vaccination (54%). Primary care physicians have played a crucial role in vaccination delivery to the U.S. population, including the elderly. They are well positioned to help with administering COVID-19 vaccinations. They are also equipped to provide clinical guidance to help patients interpret results from COVID-19 testing and immunity determinations and can answer vaccine questions.
Primary Care's Historic Role in Vaccination and Potential Role in COVID-19 Immunization Programs
Elizabeth Wilkinson, BA, et al
The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, Washington, D.C.
The Annals of Family Medicine