, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 437-457
Date: 11 Oct 2012

Using simulation to establish appropriate vaccination rates and copayment policies from a cost perspective

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Making the best decisions on vaccination policy during influenza seasons can be critical in minimizing overall costs for an insurance company. Using administrative data, company records, and published reports for the flu season during 2007–2008, a simulation model is developed to mimic the spread of influenza in children, to calculate the cost of vaccination, and the cost of treatment for infected children. The model is designed to allow for sensitivity analysis with different scenarios of vaccination rates and is implemented in a healthcare insurance company located in Southeast region of the USA. The experimental results show several advantages of simulation methodology, including its ability to mimic the complex behavior of a spreading influenza in a selected population group, while testing a range of alternative solutions for different disease scenarios. Based on the historical data, the proposed simulation suggests a vaccination policy that could significantly reduce the overall cost of the vaccination program.