The Components of Immunization for Adolescents (IMA) and the Importance of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination

A new study finds the reasons parents choose not to immunize their children against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination tend to focus on safety worries, lack of necessity, knowledge about HPV and absence of physician recommendation, according to Johns Hopkins researchers who led the investigation.

Although thousands of HPV-associated cancer cases are reported each year, many parents fail to get the second dose of the HPV vaccine. According to the Mayo Clinic, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and can take years to appear after exposure. Often parents of male children fail to see the need for their sons to receive the vaccine. They have the misconception that it only leads to cervical cancer. It is important to relay to our members that the strain that causes cervical cancer also contributes to cancers of the genitals, anus, mouth and upper respiratory tract.

The CDC first recommended preteens and teens got a MenACWY vaccine in 2005. Since then, rates of meningococcal disease in teens caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y; have decreased by over 90%. Additional patient education is needed to dispel this misconception.

Closing Care Gaps

Ensuring your patients are current on their immunizations is essential in keeping them safe from adolescent diseases.  Immunization for Adolescents (IMA) is vital to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) Annual Audit. See the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) website for additional information. The following is a guide to information and components of that measure required for a successful audit.

The percentage of adolescents 13 years of age who had the following vaccines on or before their 13th birthday:

One Dose Meningococcal Vaccine

With a date of service on or between the member’s 11th and 13th birthday

One Tetanus diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine

With a date of service on or between the member’s 10th and 13th birthday

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine

Two doses on or between the member’s 9th and 13th birthdays and with dates of services at least 146 days apart.

Three doses with different dates of services on or between the member’s 9th and 13th birthday

Tips to Consider:

  • Administer the HPV vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. Inform parents that the full HPV vaccine series require two or three doses.
  • Address common misconceptions about vaccinations.
  • Use proper codes when filing claims to help identify gaps in care, provide accurate data and streamline your administrative processes.

Thank you for your continued care and effort to increase the health and wellness of our members.

Reference and review the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Preventive Care Guidelines (PCGs), Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), and Texas Health Steps THSteps for Medical Providers, which includes all current vaccine schedules, ImmTrac2 and other important guidance for treating your patients.


The above material is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician or other health care provider. Physicians and other health care providers are encouraged to use their own medical judgment based upon all available information and the condition of the patient in determining the appropriate course of treatment. The fact that a service or treatment is described in this material is not a guarantee that the service or treatment is a covered benefit and members should refer to their certificate of coverage for more details, including benefits, limitations and exclusions. Regardless of benefits, the final decision about any service or treatment is between the member and their health care provider.

HEDIS is a registered trademark of NCQA. Use of this resource is subject to NCQA’s copyright, found here. The NCQA HEDIS measure specification has been adjusted pursuant to NCQA’s Rules for Allowable Adjustments of HEDIS. The adjusted measure specification may be used only for internal quality improvement purposes.