OBJECTIVES: The goals were to estimate nationally representative pediatric practices' costs of providing influenza vaccination during the 2006–2007 season and to simulate the costs pediatric practices might incur when implementing universal influenza vaccination for US children aged 6 months to 18 years.

METHODS: We surveyed a stratified, random sample of New York State pediatric practices (N = 91) to obtain information from physicians and office managers about all practice resources associated with provision of influenza vaccination. We estimated vaccination costs for 2 practice sizes (small and large) and 3 geographic areas (urban, suburban, and rural). We adjusted these data to obtain national estimates of the total practice cost (in 2006 dollars) for providing 1 influenza vaccination to children aged 6 months to 18 years.

RESULTS: Among all respondents, the median total cost per vaccination was $28.62 (interquartile range: $18.67–45.28). The median component costs were as follows: clinical personnel labor costs, $2.01; nonclinical personnel labor costs, $7.96; all other (overhead) costs, $10.43. Vaccine purchase costs averaged $8.22. Smaller practices and urban practices had higher costs than larger or suburban practices. With the assumption of vaccine administration reimbursement for all Vaccines for Children (VFC)-eligible children at the current Medicaid median of $8.40, the financial loss across all US pediatric practices through delivery of VFC vaccines would be $98 million if one third of children received influenza vaccine.

CONCLUSION: The total cost for pediatric practices to provide influenza vaccination is high, varies according to practice characteristics, and exceeds the average VFC reimbursement.

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