Now that the 2013 legislative session has ended, we wanted to give you a brief overview of its impacts on the Idaho Immunization Program (IIP). The IIP was interested in four bills this year (not including budget bills): S1011, S1012, S1073 and H178.
S1012 — IMMUNIZATION REGISTRY - Amends existing law to revise terminology, to provide for both adults and children in the immunization registry, to provide for a health data exchange in disclosure of information, to revise a provision relating to removal of information from the registry and to revise a provision relating to disclosure of confidential information.
This bill was a proposal to modernize the statute governing data use in IRIS to bring it into sync with current health information exchange practices and registry objectives. The proposed changes were to accomplish four goals:
To allow IRIS to exchange data bi-directionally with provider EMRs;
To allow IRIS to utilize Health Information Exchanges (e.g. Idaho Health Data Exchange);
To allow IRIS to retain non-medical information on people who had opted out, to enable the system to block medical data from being re-entered;
To clarify that IRIS is not exclusively a childhood immunization registry, but also includes adult immunization data.
During the Senate Health and Welfare Committee hearing, the bill met with some opposition. The stated objections, though often irrelevant to the intent of the bill, were voluminous enough that the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) asked the committee to hold the bill to allow a new bill, S1073, to be introduced to address what we perceived as the publics primary concern.
S1011 — IMMUNIZATION - Amends existing law to clarify terminology regarding removal of information from the immunization registry.
This bill proposed changes to another section of Idaho code to bring it in line with the changes proposed in S1012. When the DHW asked the committee to hold the previous bill, this bill was also held as it was contingent upon passage of S1012.
S1073 — IMMUNIZATION REGISTRY - Amends existing law to revise terminology, to provide for both adults and children in the immunization registry, to provide for a health data exchange in disclosure of information, to revise a provision relating to removal of information from the registry and to revise a provision relating to disclosure of confidential information.
This bill, which replaced S1012 and S1011, was introduced by DHW to address the publics primary concerns regarding the proposal to retain non-medical information in IRIS for people who had opted out of participation in the registry. Some members of the public told committee members that they would prefer having the responsibility to ensure their providers to not submit their medical data if they have opted out of the registry over having their non-medical information remain in IRIS.
Although we thought S1073 addressed the primary concern voiced by the public, members of an anti-vaccine organization continued to voice strong opposition to committee members and other representatives. It became clear that opposition to the bill was due to the fact it was associated with immunizations, even though S1073 did not change vaccine requirements, recommendations, or exemption rights. After consultation with various stakeholders, DHW asked the committee to also hold this bill.
H178 — IMMUNIZATION BOARDS - Amends existing law to extend the sunset date of immunization boards under the purview of the Department of Insurance by two years.
To end on a high note, House Bill 178 which proposed to extend Idahos vaccine assessment on insurance companies, passed. The original statute, passed in 2010, placed a 3-year sunset clause on the assessment activities and would have expired on July 1, 2013 without this extension. Without passage of H178, Idaho would have become a VFC-only state, meaning that vaccine providers would have had to purchase and maintain a separate stock of vaccines to administer to insured children.
The vaccine assessment is supported by Idaho insurance companies since it allows them to leverage the cost savings of vaccines purchased at federal contract prices which are substantially lower than private market prices.
Inoculating kids is the best way to protect everyone from flu. Why dont we do it? ~ By Kathleen A. Ryan
Influenza has been called the last great plague of humankind because it still poses a serious health threat to our nation and the world. If a naturally occurring variant of a bird flu virus acquired the ability to replicate in the trachea and nose of humans, it would cause a pandemic, with consequences as potentially devastating as the 1918 flu, which killed 50 million people.
Watch this video of three families whose lives have been affected by pertussis.
Whooping Cough Shot: Does It Last?
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine evaluated the duration of protection against whooping cough after children get the DTaP shot. Researchers wanted to find out how long the shot lasts.