As pediatric practice owners, providing the best care for your young patients is a top priority. This includes ensuring access to vaccines to protect children from preventable diseases. The cost of vaccines steadily increases each and every year. To navigate these challenges and maintain the highest level of care for your patients, it’s crucial to consider purchasing vaccines ahead of anticipated price changes. The good news is that the manufacturers announce their pricing actions and provide a few months to purchase vaccines at the current price.
The Rising Cost of Vaccines
The rising cost of vaccines is a concern for healthcare providers, especially pediatric practices. There are several factors contributing to this increase:
Research and Development: The development and research costs associated with vaccines are substantial. Newer vaccines often come with higher price tags due to the extensive research required.
Regulatory Requirements: Meeting evolving regulatory standards can be costly. Vaccine manufacturers must ensure that their products comply with ever-changing safety and efficacy standards.
Technological Advances: Advances in vaccine technology have led to the development of more effective vaccines, but these innovations can be expensive to produce.
Purchasing Ahead of Price Change
Given these factors, purchasing vaccines ahead of anticipated price changes can be a prudent strategy for pediatric practices. Here are some reasons why it makes sense:
Cost Savings: By purchasing vaccines in advance, you can lock in current prices and optimize the profit level of the vaccine by purchasing the vaccine at today’s cost and have the practice be reimbursed at a higher level after the price increase due to formula for reimbursements of vaccines. This can result in significant cost savings over time.
Protection Against Inflation: Inflation can erode the purchasing power of your practice’s budget. Buying vaccines in advance protects against the devaluation of your funds.
Practical Steps for Purchasing Ahead
To effectively purchase vaccines ahead of price changes, consider the following steps:
Assess Your Needs: Evaluate your practice’s vaccination requirements, taking into account the recommended vaccine schedule and patient demographics.
Inventory Management: Implement effective inventory management practices to ensure you use vaccines efficiently and minimize waste.
Stay Informed: Keep abreast of developments in the vaccine market, including potential price changes and new vaccine offerings. Manufacturers usually make announcements between August and November for the price increases. For instance, Merck provided an announcement of price increases in August and informed practices that they have about two months to purchase additional vaccines at the current price prior to the increase in November.
The increasing cost of vaccines is a challenge that pediatric practice owners must address to maintain the highest standard of care for their patients. Purchasing vaccines ahead of anticipated price changes is a strategic approach that offers cost savings, stability in budgeting, and a guarantee of a stable vaccine supply.
By taking proactive steps to secure vaccines at current prices, pediatric practices can continue to fulfill their vital role in protecting children from preventable diseases, while also ensuring the financial sustainability of their operations.