Federal government and insurers in Kentucky and California incentivize healthcare providers to vaccinate Medicaid patients with COVID vaccine, especially people of color, according to documents posted on the internet. As the documents revealed, this is being done by offering bonuses based on how many patients are vaccinated.
To make the vaccination drive more effective, funders provide hundreds of millions of dollars to endorsers to produce pro-vaccine media. The endorsers then create materials and even provide training to influential messengers for them to promote COVID and flu vaccines.
In 2021, insurers Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medicaid paid doctors in Kentucky up to $250 for every patient who gets vaccinated. And the more people get vaccinated, the higher the incentive becomes. As reported by Children’s Health Defense (CHD) based on the documents:
“Between Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021, physicians received payments ranging from $100 per newly vaccinated person for those who vaccinated 30% of their patient cohort, to $250 per newly vaccinated person for those who vaccinated 75% of their patient cohort.”
Meanwhile, in March of 2021, Healthcare Finance also reported:
“Medicare is now paying higher reimbursement rates for hospitals, physicians, pharmacies and others to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting immediately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is increasing the Medicare payment amount to $40 to administer each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This represents an increase from approximately $28 to $40 to administer a single dose, and an increase from approximately $45 to $80 for the administration of vaccines requiring two doses. The exact payment rate for administration of each dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will depend on the type of entity that furnishes the service and will be geographically adjusted based on where the service is furnished…”
In California, to convince millions of beneficiaries, the California Department of Health Care Services announced on August of 2021 that it will provide incentive payments amounting $350 million ($250 million to providers and $100 million for direct non-monetary payments, such as gift cards, to vaccine recipients). All of these efforts were intended for Medicaid patients ages 12 to 25 and people ages 50 to 64, mostly people of color with multiple chronic conditions.
These amounts directly came from the taxpayer’s money in California. The use of the funding includes payments to different community-based organizations, church groups, and advocacy groups that will help promote the federal government’s vaccination schemes using grassroots tactics. This strategy is common in many states of America and even in other countries during the early days of vaccine rollouts.
To be able to fully receive the incentives, providers had to reach the vaccination quota given by the federal health agencies. And the higher the targets are met, the more extra payments providers will receive.
To learn more about this topic, read the CHD’s full article: