“Any lawmaker who votes yes on SB 276 will have blood on their hands. It’s up to each of them to decide if they will be accessories to the real human cost of this lethal legislation. How much is a life worth? Will lawmakers sacrifice children for political purposes or will they acknowledge and act according to the truth?”
Lethal legislation? Yes, that’s how the anti-vaccine movement describes a bill that the AAP, California Medical Association, California State PTA, Children’s Defense Fund of California, County of Los Angeles, Infectious Disease Association of California, the March of Dimes, and many other organizations supports.
Bob Sears, as he fights for kids to be allowed to get fake medical exemptions, is also routinely promoting the efforts of consultant, Jonathan Lockwood of Oregon, who has been described as an “out-of-state political operative known for provocative campaigns.”
And despite the fact that legislators have been getting death threats for years, Bob Sears hasn’t called on folks to stop making them. He even promoted the failed effort to recall Dr. Pan.
And while this is all kind of interesting, no one should be surprised.
More on Bob Sears Ignores Death Threats Against Dr. Pan
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.”
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.”
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.
Not surprisingly, folks are pushing misinformation in trying to get support in their efforts to oppose SB276, the California bill that will help stop doctors from writing fraudulent medical exemptions.
Are There 6 Reasons to Oppose SB276?
It also shouldn’t be a surprise that none of their “reasons” hold water.
And it is only the doctors writing excessive medical exemptions that will trigger an investigation.
What about the Medical Board of California?
While the system that they have in place has allowed them to investigate some doctors, it has mostly failed. While they do have the authority to investigate physicians, for some reason, they can’t get medical records unless a parent cooperates.
“Ms. Simoes provided background on Senate Bill (SB) 277, which passed in 2015, eliminating the personal belief exemption from the requirement that children receive specific vaccinations for certain infectious diseases prior to being admitted to any school or daycare center. She explained that after the passage of SB 277, the Board has had a difficult time investigating complaints related to medical exemptions since an authorization of medical records needs to be signed and many parents or guardians do not want to sign the authorization since it would identify the doctor that provided the medical exemption. She explained that this causes a barrier to investigation since most medical exemption cases cannot be subpoenaed and medical records are needed to conduct an investigation.”
Discussion and Possible Action on SB 276 (Pan) Immunizations: Medical Exemptions
And the Medical Board of California supports SB276.
In addition to the Governor of California, supporters include the AAP, California Medical Association, California State PTA, Children’s Defense Fund of California, County of Los Angeles, Infectious Disease Association of California, and the March of Dimes.
“Treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals. Also called best practice, standard medical care, and standard therapy.”
NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
Just because a few doctors do something a certain way, that doesn’t make it the proper way for it to be done.
And that’s why a doctor making up their own rules for what counts as a vaccine medical exemption, especially when it goes against published guidelines and advice, isn’t standard of care.