Tuesday, April 23, 2013

COSA's Immunization Fee to Rise Nearly 50%

The City of San Angelo's new immunization fee will increase nearly 50% on June 1st.  The current fee paid under the Texas Vaccine for Children program is $14.85 for one immunization and $15 for more than one.  The new fee will be $22.06 for one or more immunizations.  The $7.21 increase is a 48.5% rise.

In the last budget cycle Council drastically cut the availability of Immunization services, contributing to our area's worse than normal flu outbreak.

In 2008-2009 the City Health Department provided over 7.600 immunizations.  They project to administer a mere 2,300 this year.  That's a 70% decline.

City leaders turned immunizations, the most basic and cost effective of public health services, into a scarce service.  Their next step is to make immunizations more expensive.  In which City Council meeting was this approved?

Update 4-25-13:  Council implicitly approved a price increase with its 2012-13 budget.  Here's my take last fall:  "City Council expects the health department to make 50% of the revenue it budgeted last year for injections, STD clinic and immunizations.  The amount isn't significant, but I find it odd an 80% reduction in availability should only reduce revenue 50%.  I'd expect revenue to drop more than 80% as the public writes off the city for any form of primary or preventive health care services."

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