Text Size

Qualis Health Wins Medicare Contract to Improve Adult Immunization Rates and Reduce Disparities in Idaho and Washington

July 21, 2015

Recruitment Underway for Expanded Focus on Influenza, Pneumonia and Shingles Vaccinations

Seattle, WA – Qualis Health has been awarded a $1.8 million contract by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the assessment of immunization status among Medicare beneficiaries in Idaho and Washington State, and improve immunization rates while reducing disparities.

Through its Practice Innovation Network, Qualis Health currently works to engage physician practice teams and their patients to transform care delivery, improving clinic workflow and using electronic health records to improve population health, with a targeted focus on cardiovascular health and managing chronic illnesses (such as diabetes). Recruitment of additional practices is underway to broaden the network’s scope to include improving immunization rates. The project will also focus on improving immunizations in home health agencies and critical access hospitals.

"We're excited to help providers adopt immunization best practices," says Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, Qualis Health President & CEO. "We can leverage our broad experience integrating health information technology and quality improvement to make a difference for patients and families across this region."

Implemented with similar projects across the country, CMS expects a national outcome of one million previously unimmunized Medicare beneficiaries to receive pneumonia vaccinations by 2019. With 40,000 to 50,000 vaccine-preventable deaths in the United States each year, the cost of vaccine-preventable diseases reaches $10 billion annually.

There are significant opportunities for improvement in the Northwest. Recent data indicate that Idaho and Washington State have a 35% and 30% rate of Medicare beneficiaries not receiving pneumonia vaccinations, respectively. Among the region's 1.17 million Medicare beneficiaries, 77,000 eligible people in Idaho and 285,000 in Washington are not receiving pneumonia vaccinations.

Contact Us

For media inquiries, please contact:

Evan Stults
Vice President, Communications
(206) 288-2458