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Initial Palivizumab Dose Administration in Outpatient Clinic After Hospital Discharge



Palivizumab provides passive immunity for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), but poor adherence compromises protection. A hospital initiative promoted administration of first palivizumab doses at an outpatient clinic immediately after discharge. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the impact of the initiative on location and timing of first palivizumab dose, patient adherence, reimbursement, acquisition cost and RSV-positive hospital readmissions.


This retrospective cohort study included pediatric patients who received palivizumab from 2012 to 2016. Three groups were compared: "before initiative," "transition" and "after initiative." Patients who did not qualify for palivizumab or who were eligible for palivizumab in previous RSV seasons were excluded. Multivariable logistic and linear regressions adjusted for patients' characteristics were used in outcome analysis.


After adjusting for patients' characteristics, there was a 13.5-fold (95% confidence interval: 5.9-30.5, P < 0.0001) increase in odds that patients would receive outpatient administration of palivizumab and 2.7-fold (95% confidence interval: 1.3-5.7, P = 0.0103) increase in odds of receiving the second dose within 35 days after initiative implementation compared with before. Although there was no significant difference in reimbursement percentage after initiative implementation (32% ± 30% after initiative and 31% ± 22% before), calculated palivizumab acquisition costs were 20.8% lower. RSV readmissions were not significantly different.


Implementation of an initiative with defined workflow, multidisciplinary collaboration, and early case management efforts to obtain insurance authorization increased outpatient administration of first palivizumab doses. Patient adherence improved as demonstrated by more timely receipt of the second palivizumab dose. There was no difference in reimbursement; however, acquisition cost decreased which is valuable considering low reimbursement rates. RSV-positive readmissions did not change significantly.

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