Protect Children from Cancer with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine
To support quality care, we are providing information to providers and members to encourage discussions on health topics. Watch for more on health care quality in News and Updates our Wellness Can't Wait web page.
Why is the HPV vaccine important?
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and can take years to appear after exposure.1 Each year, thousands of HPV associated cancer cases are reported. The HPV vaccination protects against HPV-related infections and cancers.
Closing care gaps
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) routinely recommends the HPV vaccination series begin at age 11 or 12 but can be started as early as age nine. The CDC recommends that all 11 and 12-year-olds receive their initial HPV vaccination followed by a second vaccination, six to12 months after the initial dose. Vaccination for HPV is recommended up to age 26.2
Encourage our members to ask questions (i.e. prevention of infertility and cancer later in life) so that you may address their concerns. It is important to relay to our members that once HPV has been contracted, the vaccine will not help you prevent further infections.
- Administer the HPV vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. Inform parents that the full HPV vaccine series requires two or three shots
- Recommend immunizations to parents and educate parents on common misconceptions about vaccinations
Best practices also include using the proper codes when filing claims. Proper coding can help identify gaps in care, provide accurate data and streamline your administrative processes.
1 Center for Disease Control 2020. Genital HPV Infection- Fact Sheet Retrieved June 4, 2020, from www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm
2 Center for Disease Control 2020. Immunization Strategies for Healthcare Practices and Providers Retrieved June 5, 2020 from www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/strat.html
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.