[ Text of section added by 2014, 28, Sec. 1 effective June 30, 2014. See 2014, 28, Sec. 5.]
Section 24N. (a) As used in this section the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:--
"Children'', individuals less than 19 years of age.
"Estimated vaccine cost'', the estimated cost over the course of a fiscal year for the purchase, storage and distribution of vaccines for all children in the commonwealth.
"Payments subject to surcharge'', as defined in section 64 of chapter 118E.
"Routine childhood immunizations'', immunizations for children until their nineteenth birthday including: (i) the immunizations recommended by the federal Vaccines for Children Program, and (ii) any immunizations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Surcharge payors'', those entities defined as surcharge payors pursuant to section 64 of chapter 118E, who made payments subject to surcharge in the amount of $1,000,000 or more during the most recent period for which data is available on July 1 of the current fiscal year.
"Total non-federal program cost'', the estimated annual cost of vaccines needed for routine childhood immunizations for children covered by surcharge payors in the commonwealth less the amount of federal revenue available to the commonwealth for purchase, storage, distribution and administration of the vaccines.
(b) There shall be established in the commonwealth a separate trust fund to be known as the Vaccine Purchase Trust Fund to support a universal purchase system for routine childhood immunizations in the commonwealth. The fund shall be expended to cover the costs to purchase, store and distribute vaccines for routine childhood immunizations and to administer the fund and the immunization registry, established pursuant to section 24M. The fund shall consist of all monies paid to the commonwealth under subsection (d) and any interest earnings on such monies. The fund shall be maintained by the commissioner of public health or a designee. The monies shall be expended under the direction of the department of public health, without prior appropriation, solely to cover total non-federal program costs; provided, however, that the amount to be expended for storing and distributing vaccines for routine childhood immunizations, if such costs are not covered by federal contribution, and for the costs of administering the immunization registry, shall not exceed 10 per cent of the total amount of the fund expended for the purchase of vaccines needed for routine childhood immunizations for all children in the commonwealth. Any balance in the fund at the close of a fiscal year shall be available for expenditure in subsequent fiscal years and shall not be transferred to any other fund or revert to the General Fund. The commissioner of public health or a designee shall annually report the amount of funds collected and any expenditures made from the fund to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate to be forwarded on to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health and the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on health care financing.
(c) There shall be a vaccine program advisory council consisting of the commissioner of public health or a designee, who shall serve as chair; the medical director of the universal immunization program of the department of public health established under section 24I; the executive director for the center for health information and analysis or a designee; the executive director of the commonwealth health insurance connector authority or a designee; 1 person to be appointed by the director of Medicaid, who shall be a representative of managed care organizations contracting with MassHealth; 3 persons to be appointed by the commissioner of insurance, each of whom shall be a representative of 1 of the 3 health insurance companies having the most insured lives in the commonwealth; and 7 persons to be appointed by the commissioner of public health, 1 of whom shall be a representative of an employer that self-insures for health coverage who shall be appointed from lists of nominees submitted by statewide associations of employers, 1 of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society, 1 of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, and 3 of whom shall be physicians licensed to practice in the commonwealth and who shall have expertise in the area of childhood vaccines. The council shall recommend the types of vaccines to be purchased based on a list of routine childhood immunizations and shall take into account provider preference, cost, availability and other factors as determined by the council. The council shall recommend the amount of funding needed each fiscal year by calculating the total non-federal program cost. The council shall make recommendations to the commissioner on whether the commissioner may authorize provider choice of more than 1 comparable brand or type for a routine childhood immunization vaccine. In its recommendations, the council shall examine the feasibility, costs and benefits of authorizing provider choice, provide a schedule of the cost of each comparable brand or type of a vaccine recommended for provider choice and demonstrate that the estimated vaccine cost of authorizing provider choice would not be substantially greater than the estimated vaccine cost of purchasing a single brand or type of a vaccine. The commissioner of public health shall determine the final vaccines to be purchased.
(d) Under regulations adopted by the commissioner of public health, each surcharge payor in the commonwealth shall pay to the commissioner of public health, for deposit in the Vaccine Purchase Trust Fund, a routine childhood immunizations surcharge assessed by the commissioner. By January 1 of each year, the commissioner of public health shall determine the total amount of the surcharge for the current fiscal year by determining the final amount required to be included in the Vaccine Purchase Trust Fund for the current fiscal year to cover the estimated costs to purchase, store and distribute vaccines for routine childhood immunizations and to administer the fund and the immunization registry, established pursuant to section 24M. The amount shall exclude any costs anticipated to be covered by federal contribution, shall take into consideration the limitations on expenditures described in subsection (b) and shall take into account any anticipated surplus or deficit in the trust fund. Any increase in the surcharge amount for the prior fiscal year shall not increase more than the percentage set as the health care cost growth benchmark, established under section 9 of chapter 6D, unless the commissioner of public health submits a detailed report to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate who shall forward the report to the house and senate committees on ways and means, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on public health and the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on health care financing explaining the need for the increase. If the reason for the increase is due to the purchase of new vaccines and the authorization of provider choice for certain vaccines, as recommended by the vaccine program advisory council, the report shall include an analysis of cost savings generated by use of the state vaccine purchasing discount.
The commissioner shall annually provide surcharge payors notice of the assessment amount for the trust fund year not later than 15 days prior to the due date of the first scheduled surcharge payment or March 1, whichever is earlier. Surcharge payors shall pay the surcharge on a schedule determined by regulation; provided, however, that the schedule shall ensure sufficient funds for the trust fund to fulfill the purposes described in subsection (b). Each surcharge payor shall pay a portion of the total amount of the surcharge proportional to their payments subject to surcharge during the most recent period for which data is available, as further defined in regulation.
(e) The department of public health may adopt rules and regulations as necessary to implement the universal purchase and distribution system under this chapter and other applicable state and federal laws. The rules and regulations shall establish the system by which vaccines are distributed for children in the commonwealth.
(f) Every surcharge payor, to the extent not preempted by federal law, shall provide benefits for: (i) routine childhood immunizations for residents of the commonwealth; and (ii) immunizations for residents of the commonwealth who are 19 years of age and older according to the most recent schedules recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These benefits shall be exempt from any copayment, coinsurance, deductible or dollar limit provisions in the health insurance policy or contract.