Picture it: a patient and his or her parents consented to immunization, but after the vaccine was drawn up, the patient refused to receive the vaccine and the parents decide to bring the patient in another time for immunization. Sound familiar? It happens frequently in pediatric practice. Can your practice bill for the wasted vaccine or at least for the immunization administration with a reduced service modifier (52)?

Ideally, vaccines are not drawn up until immediately before administration, but waste still happens. If the vaccine cannot be safely administered to another patient on the same date (based on guidance for safe administration of the specific vaccine), it is important to know your options for cutting your loss.

Check your contracts and the payment policies of health plans to determine if there is a way to report wasted vaccines. Some payers may allow modifier JW (drug amount discarded/not administered...

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