School flu shot company to go off-campus

Being barred from administering flu shots at Santa Rosa schools won’t stop the Jacksonville company’s vaccination program here.

Instead, Healthy Schools LLC plans to jump-start its for-profit program of flu shots for public school students at off-campus locations in cooperation with the Florida Department of Health.

The Santa Rosa School Board suspended the company’s in-school program last month after some parents complained that their children were vaccinated against their wishes.

Jen Long, a spokeswoman for Healthy Schools, told the Navarre Press on Friday: “We’re putting the finishing touches on the specific details around additional flu clinics that we’re going to run with the Department of Health in Santa Rosa for those students (and parents) who did not receive their vaccinations but wanted them…”

Jennifer Granse, the District 4 school board member, responded when a reporter asked Friday night about the company’s off-campus plans: “I’m just happy that students will be able to receive flu shots this season. I’m also more comfortable that the shots will be given in conjunction with the health department. “

School Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick couldn’t immediately be reached for comment after taking the lead in suspending the Healthy Schools vaccinations due to complaints from parents. Some parents said they stated clearly on forms sent home by Healthy Schools that they did not consent to flu shots for their children.

Healthy Schools has said that there was an apparent misunderstanding between it and some parents about filling out the forms and the company intended to follow parents’ wishes.

As reported, the school district maintained little oversight of Healthy Schools—handing local supervision largely to the health department. In fact, school district officials didn’t monitor the qualifications of the company’s employees who administered the shots.

Healthy Schools, responding to questions from this newspaper, said Friday that all vaccinations are performed by registered nurses.

Still, although the company doesn’t bill parents, it obtains information from them about their health insurance and sends charges to those companies for reimbursement. In some cases, if there’s no health insurance, Healthy Schools attempts to bill the state/federal Medicaid program.

The company declined to answer a Navarre Press email asking how much it bills insurers. But the company acknowledges it’s a volume business and charges insurers on a per-shot basis.

It also declined to say how many Santa Rosa students had been vaccinated before the program was suspended late last month.

 

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