The child immunization rate in Kansas currently stands at about 80%. State and federal health officials say that's not high enough to prevent diseases like mumps and measles from spreading throughout the population. But a state task force recently found that only 65% of primary care physicians offer immunization services. Kansas Department of Health and Environment Spokesperson, Joe Blubaugh, says that makes it harder for families to access vaccinations for their children.
Blubaugh: When we have a child going to the doctor, and that's there medical home, but the doctor doesn't provide immunizations - they're not always following through to set up an appointment at a local health department to get those immunizations.
Blubaugh also says private physicians face high administrative costs and low reimbursement rates for providing such services. The task force has issued some 30 recommendations for improving the state's immunization rate. Priorities include developing a statewide purchasing system for vaccines as well as enhancing the state's online immunization registry.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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