BCHD approves shot questionnaire

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On Feb. 28, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees approved a new questionnaire that all parents will be required to complete before vaccines can be administered to their children at the Cassville and Monett offices.

"This is a result of the 317 funding and the fact that beginning this year we cannot use that funding for kids who have insurance," said Roger Brock, health department administrator. "The 317 funding is used to pay for vaccines for kids 19 and under.

"If a family has insurance, we must refer them back to their doctor," continued Brock. "We cannot use our vaccine for kids who have insurance. If the parents don't know if their insurance covers the vaccine or if they don't have insurance to cover the vaccine it is okay."

The new requirement is designed to ensure that state health department funding is not used to pay for vaccinations that could be covered by an insurance company.

"Right now, when families come in we ask, 'do you have insurance,' and 'does your insurance cover vaccinations,'" said Carol Landstad, public health programs coordinator. "This form is so that we don't have to have that conversation with everybody else listening."

Over the last few months, the local health department has been researching options that would allow them to provide vaccinations for children who have insurance. Currently, vaccine purchased from a private retailer will cost around $265 per child, which is not a viable option for most families.

In February, Brock, Landstad and Nancy Boyd, executive assistant, met with Jim Topmiller, a representative of Vaxcare, a company that provides vaccinations to agencies such as health departments.

"The company provides the vaccine to the facility and bills the insurance company for the health department," said Brock. "If the insurance company does not pay for the vaccine, the company sends a bill to the family."

Companies like Vaxcare also pays the facility that offers the vaccine a fee for administering the immunizations.

"There are pilot programs out there now that some counties are using," said Brock. "Because of the restrictions on the 317 funding we decided we needed to explore the other options out there."

In addition to exploring options for providing vaccine to families with insurance, the local health department has mailed letters to all of the area physicians regarding the new restrictions. The letters include a notification that patients will be referred back to their doctor's offices for immunizations.

In new business, the health board approved a special use water permit application for the Eagle Rock Retreat Center, which is housed at the Royal Rangers Camp in Eagle Rock.

"They are requesting a special use permit to put in a holding tank until they build a new cafeteria and mess hall," said Brock. "They will be connecting to two little bitty cabins that offer no laundry or kitchen. They will only be sleeping quarters for summer help and cooking staff."

The camp administrators have entered into an agreement with Wolf Pack for pumping services for the 2,000-gallon holding tank, which will have both audio and visual alarms.

The new mess hall will be constructed within the next two to three years and a new septic system will be installed for the building. The installation of that septic system will fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which has approved the temporary use of the holding tank.

When the new septic system is installed the holding tank will used as a pre-treatment trash tank.

"I see no reason to not give them this permit until the other system is in place," said Brock.

In other business, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees:

* Reviewed and approved the service fees, public health programs, service counts, environmental and administrator's reports.

* Heard that the department completed sewer system repairs and replaced two hard drives using the grant funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

* Reviewed a draft of proposed changes to the county wastewater ordinance. The health department will offer a public review period before the changes are approved later this year.

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