Flu vaccines can be a significant factor in reducing hospitals costs and utilization, when one considers that the average cost per day for a hospital stay is $1,800 to $2,400, according to Kaiser Family Foundation research. Approximately 71,000 hospitalizations were averted during the 2015-16 flu season because patients were vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The 2015-16 impact of influenza was substantial with an estimated 310,000 influenza-related hospitalizations. The agency estimates that if vaccination rates increased by just 5 percentage points across the entire population, another 6,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations could have been avoided.
CDC recommends these strategies for increasing vaccinations:
- Ensure flu vaccine status is assessed at each heathcare encounter during the influenza season.
- Ensure everyone 6 months and older receives recommendations to get vaccinated.
- Use standing orders in healthcare offices.
- Use patient reminder/recall systems.
- Expand vaccination access at nontraditional settings (e.g., pharmacies, workplaces, schools).