Make the most of new fees from vaccinating over-65s

Extracts from Pulse, 23/9/00

Another article describing how to maximise your profits - ‘the Government’s decision to offer GPs an incentive to increase flu vaccinations in over-65s could mean a profit of over 2,000 for every GP.’ ‘The simplest way to increase profit is to vaccinate as many patients as possible’ the article then details the best strategies and advice about when to order the vaccines, and how to keep staff costs down, setting up efficient vaccine clinics and so on. Even commenting on planning visits to housebound patients between October and December and vaccinating them then.

Pulse, 21/10/00 suggested tips for a successful flu vaccination campaign. Two examples were: ‘Never run a flu clinic on a Friday. People will always phone up the next day to say their arm hurts or that they feel ill. It’s better to speak to them yourself than have the co-op generate a bill.’ and ‘Consider immunising in public, even in the waiting room if need be, to encourage others!’ Also in the same issue, on the letters page, one GP says that his surgery aim to vaccinate 2,500 patients by the second week of October, firstly to get their Item-of-service claims in as quickly as possible, but also to vaccinate patients when they are healthy and likely to stay healthy for the next few days. This is apparently because any patient who is given the jab in November and develops a seasonal cold will blame the vaccine and ‘be lost forever’ as a future uptaker of the jab.

Another letter includes: "This year, just to add to the equation, there is a large carrot dangling before us in the form of an unusually generous financial incentive. With our 55% discount added to the item-of-service fee of 6.45, I am contemplating booking a posh skiing chalet in the Swiss Alps" One alternative method this GP gives to increase uptake is: "Low-tech, low cost and absolutely guaranteed. Mention to Mrs Higgins, who works in the wool shop, that there is likely to be a severe shortage of vaccines this year. Judging by the fact that such rumours recently wiped out petrol supplies in most of the UK, I feel confident that she will start a stampede of ‘panic’ vaccinating that will empty our smart new vaccine fridge within hours."

Ref: Informed Parent