Paul Thomas is upset…
He thinks that Willamette Week, an alternative weekly newspaper in Portland, is trying to discredit him.
How are they using their platform “to try to discredit an ethical top Pediatrician in the community?”
An “ethical top pediatrician” who made up his own immunization schedule???
Willamette Week published a story about how Paul Thomas was kicked out of the Vaccines for Children Program.
“VFC (Vaccines for Children) does not provide any funding (no real dollars) just free vaccines for the underprivileged. What I lost was the ability to provide this free federal program to my patients who qualify for this program. This is simply a major inconvenience to those affected. Financially it is neutral to me.
My clinic had actually stocked the vaccines Rachel mentions – we just didn’t comply in a timely manner, so you got this part right “I didn’t jump through their hoops fast enough.”Paul Thomas
To make a long story short, he got kicked out of the Vaccines for Children Program because he didn’t follow the rules of the program.
What about the idea that he “just didn’t comply in a timely manner?”
Although Paul Thomas says in his post that his “clinic had actually stocked the vaccines Rachel mentions,” the order kicking him out of the VFC program says otherwise.
“Dr. Thomas submitted a Declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating his office does not keep stock of HPV vaccines and instead sends patients to pharmacies.”Default Order Terminating Integrative Pediatrics from VFC
He also did not have any rotavirus vaccine in his office.
To get to the point of being terminated and which Paul Thomas characterizes as “I didn’t jump through their hoops fast enough,” actually involved:
- ignoring an offer for a probationary agreement (August 2018)
- asking for a contested case hearing (October 2018) which was scheduled for July 12, 2019
- withdrawing his request for a contested case hearing on July 10, 2019
I’m surprised they gave him that much time!
Did he lose Medicaid funding?
I’m not sure he even takes Medicaid, but he did lose the ability to give his patients vaccines that he didn’t have to pay for.
“One huge misconception, and I see the comments on this, is that pediatricians don’t make money on vaccines or that they are not financially incentivized to vaccinate. There are profits from vaccine mark-ups and huge profits from vaccine administration fees. The average admin fee is about $35 per vaccine. For the 715 patients born into my practice who have refused to give any vaccines (each child would have had 28 vaccines by age 2 and over 60 vaccines in their childhood) amounting to income of $700,000 for the 2 years and $1.5 million over their childhood. Those are real dollars lost for Integrative Pediatrics. The money lost when considering that we serve over 15,000 patients, with most being selective about how they vaccinate would have driven most practices out of business.
There are also built in incentives in many contracts with health plans. Vaccines are a quality measure (if your practice does not reach a bench mark in numbers vaccinated) you loose a % on all services provided to patients under that insurance contract.
Is it any wonder most of my peers discharge patients from their practices who won’t follow the CDC schedule? Often these patients are told to call Dr. Thomas (Integrative Pediatrics).
Let us be clear. It is not a good business decision to allow families not to vaccinate or to permit selective vaccination.”Paul Thomas
Let us be clear. He certainly doesn’t understand vaccine administration fees…
Some things he gets wrong?
- pediatricians might charge $35 as an admin fee, but they are lucky if insurance companies pay them 1/3 or 1/2 that or even less. Your average vaccine administration fee is only going to be $35 if you don’t take insurance and can set your own fees!
- you get a lower vaccine administration fee for the second vaccine component given (you use a different CPT code – 90461) vs the first (90460), and it pays less, so doctors make less when they give multiple vaccines at the same visit. Is that why many vaccine friendly doctors recommend giving one vaccine at a time?
And he misses the whole point behind vaccine administration fees.
It costs pediatricians money to order, stock, monitor, and give vaccines!
“This study shows that the variable costs of vaccine administration exceeded reimbursement from some insurers and healthplans.”Glazner et al on Cost of Vaccine Administration Among Pediatric Practices
Do they make any money?
Hopefully they do, as health care is a business in the United States, but they certainly aren’t making millions in net profit as Paul Thomas suggests. And if they aren’t very careful, after considering all of the factors that go into giving a vaccine, it is very easy to lose money.
How Do Anti-Vaccine Pediatricians Make Money?
Which brings us back to the business decision of being a pediatrician who scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
Is there any money in that?
Books, seminars, supplements, essential oils – there are lots of things to sell parents who don’t vaccinate their kids.
And the vaccine exemptions that some of them sell…
More on Do Anti-Vaccine Pediatricians Lose Millions Not Vaccinating Kids?
- Money and Motivation of the Anti-Vaccine Movement
- That $3 Million Vaccine Bonus for Pediatricians
- The Value and Cost Savings of Getting Vaccinated
- Does the CDC Own Any Patents on Vaccines?
- Who’s Who in the Anti-Vaccine Movement – 2019 Edition
- Why Can’t My 9-Month-Old Get the Rotavirus Vaccine?
- I’m Not Anti-Vaccine, I Just Don’t Believe in the HPV Vaccine
- Pediatrician Paul Thomas Responds to WW’s Cover Feature
- Pediatrician Paul Thomas Has 15,000 Patients—and He Tells Them the Measles Vaccine Might Cause Autism
- Thomas: A rising star in the antivaccine movement
- Study – Cost of Vaccine Administration Among Pediatric Practices
- Study – Vaccine financing from the perspective of primary care physicians.
- Study– Financial Sustainability of Vaccine Delivery in Primary Care Practices
- Study – Primary care physician perspectives on reimbursement for childhood immunizations.
- Study – Net financial gain or loss from vaccination in pediatric medical practices.
- Study – Febrile Seizures in the Era of Rotavirus Vaccine.
- Pediatricians Paid to Vaccinate: Another Myth Easily Debunked
- Doctors are “pushing vaccines”? Gee, you say that as though that were a bad thing!
- Do doctors get paid to vaccinate?
- Vaccinations Can Be Money-Losers For Doctors
- MMWR – Three Rotavirus Outbreaks in the Postvaccine Era — California, 2017