Submitted on Wed, 2013-08-14
By Nar Ramkissoon

The impact of Local Health Departments around the country is perhaps not felt more though than through immunizations during the period known as “start of life." 

infant immunizations

Local health departments around the country play a huge role in improving quality of life. Their impact is perhaps not felt more though than through immunizations during the period known as “start of life” between conception and infancy. Ensuring a baby’s health from preventable diseases takes more than just immunizing the baby; the mother and family members around newborns need to take advantage of local health department services too.

In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month, let’s take a look at how local health departments can continue having a positive impact on the health of our nation’s babies, despite recent budget cuts.


"The United States ranks #174 in infant mortalities with an estimated 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births." 

- According to the CIA's, The World Factbook



Local Health’s Impact on Family, Mother, and Infant Immunizations

At the beginning of 2013, $4 million in funding for vaccinations was cut from the national budget, and it had a pronounced impact on local health departments. These cuts led to hundreds of rural children in Colorado not being able to be vaccinated this year, amongst many other cases. Especially in rural areas, local health departments are often the only place to find vaccines.

People who receive vaccinations for preventable diseases are less likely to be hospitalized for those diseases. Studies have shown that babies born to mothers who received the influenza vaccine during pregnancy are nearly 50% less likely themselves to develop influenza as infants. 
 
With funding continuing to drop for local health departments, it’s getting harder and harder for the departments to give out vaccinations, and in turn, for people to find places to get vaccinations in the first place. Budget cuts not only prevent people access to these immunizations, it reduces the money available use in helping to spread awareness of these vital infant immunizations. 
 

With more funding (or avenues of revenue), local health departments can help the U.S. improve upon its world ranking of #174 in infant mortality rates.

The implications for public health departments being unable to vaccinate are huge. In the face of cost cutting, it’s more important than ever for local health to implement more efficient and smarter billing processes. Making sure to collect payment at time of service, and verifying insurance ahead of time are just two small ways to dramatically increase revenues.

Upp Technology’s SMART Health Claims program ensures maximized Vaccines for Children (VFC) funding so local health departments can recoup costs associated with vaccines. Sign up for a free revenue performance evaluation today to see how your local health department can start creating 70% more revenue in just a few short months.