Objectives: To analyze adherence to guidelines to prevent respiratory syncytial virus hospitalization and to a monthly immunoprophylaxis schedule in the absence of prior authorization requirements.
Study design: Among Florida Medicaid fee-for-service recipients 0 to 2 years of age from the 1998/1999 season through the 2004/2005 season with available birth certificates, we identified indications for palivizumab prophylaxis based on claims data. At least 4 doses of palivizumab in the 5 core season-months were considered full season coverage.
Results: Of 302 101 children-seasons, 6089 were associated with 24 469 doses of palivizumab. In the 2004/2005 season, 73.6% of children with chronic lung disease received immunoprophylaxis, 67.6% children with gestational age <32 weeks, 37% with congenital heart disease, 26.4% with cystic fibrosis, and 19.4% with severe immunodeficiency. Multiple indications increased the likelihood for prophylaxis from 34.9% to 80.4%. Full season coverage was consistent across indications at approximately 70%. From the 1998/1999 season through the 2004/2005 season, 8038 doses were administered during 2051 children-seasons without any indication; mostly (69.6%) where premature children had exceeded the recommended age range for prophylaxis.
Conclusions: High utilization rates were found in children with multiple indications, and compliance with a monthly schedule was consistently high. One third of doses were administered outside of guidelines, suggesting suboptimal utilization of resources in the absence of prior authorization.
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