Skip To Navigation Skip To Content Skip To Footer
    Hire Physicians Who Fit, Succeed and Stay - Recruit a Physician - Jackson Physician Search and MGMA
    MGMA Stat
    Home > MGMA Stat > MGMA Stat
    Andrew Hajde
    Andrew Hajde, CMPE
    Cristy Good
    Cristy Good, MPH, MBA, CPC, CMPE

    Patients often refuse vaccinations for themselves or their children for a variety of reasons, and the rate of unvaccinated patients is apparent: 2019 has had the greatest number of reported cases of measles in the United States since 1992, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

    The Medical Group Management Association’s most recent MGMA Stat poll asked healthcare leaders if their organization has a policy to work with patients who refuse vaccinations: 31% answered “yes,” while 69% answered “no.” Respondents were then asked to elaborate on their answers.

    Respondents who answered “yes” indicated:

    • We are pediatrics ... our policy is to discharge patients who choose to not vaccinate. It is made clear when establishing care.
    • We offer counseling through the care coordinator.
    • Parents have to sign a declination form indicating they have been informed of the risks of not immunizing.
    • We allow parents and patients to opt out of vaccines.

    Respondents who answered “no” elaborated:

    • It is left up to each doctor to handle one on one most refuse these patients, but some tolerate a reduced schedule.
    • We have vaccine schedules and state regulations regarding children who attend public school that we must follow. Outside of that, our physicians handle our goal is to provide education to patients and families.
    • Patients are allowed to choose. 

    This poll was conducted on June 25, 2019, with 904 applicable responses. 

    It is important for medical practices to have policies and procedures to guide clinicians in handling patients who haven’t been vaccinated and present with infectious disease symptoms. This could be a safety issue for staff, providers and other patients of the practice. Having practice policies and procedures around vaccinations helps your staff understand precautions they may need to take and whether discharging patients for non-compliance is practice protocol.

    There also are public health reporting considerations. The CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have numerous resources on these topics, including information on the Worker Infection Control Plan. Communicable diseases such as measles and mumps are required to be reported to your local health department and/or CDC.

    Connect with your colleagues in the MGMA Member Community for more suggestions on how they are working through challenges such as vaccine refusal.

    Additional resources



    Our ability at MGMA to provide great resources, education and advocacy depends on a strong feedback loop with healthcare leaders. To be part of this effort, sign up for MGMA Stat and make your voice heard in our weekly polls. Sign up by texting “STAT” to 33550 or visit Polls will be sent to your phone via text message.

    Need professional assistance understanding your options for contracting? MGMA Consulting can help identify actionable solutions tailored for your organization.

    Andrew Hajde

    Written By

    Andrew Hajde, CMPE

    Cristy Good

    Written By

    Cristy Good, MPH, MBA, CPC, CMPE

    Cristy Good, MPH, MBA, CPC, CMPE, is a Senior Industry Advisor at MGMA, with expertise in practice management, healthcare operations, revenue cycle management and project management. She has more than 20 years of experience in medical practice administration and financial management. Prior to joining MGMA, Cristy was a credentialed trainer with EPIC and helped prepare providers for one of the largest EHR implementations. For more than five years, she was an administrator with a large health system where she oversaw the strategic and daily operations for multiple outpatient medical practices and also spent six months working for a private home health agency. In addition, she has more than 10 years of clinical laboratory experience.

    Explore Related Content

    More MGMA Stats

    Ask MGMA
    An error has occurred. The page may no longer respond until reloaded. Reload 🗙