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PacifiCare clarifies Varivax coverage guideline; Merck vaccine added to schedule after consumer complaint.

Executive Summary

PACIFICARE ADDS VARIVAX TO IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE, CLARIFIES GUIDELINE on use of the Merck chicken pox vaccine, PacifiCare of California announced April 9. "If a plan physician, after discussion with the member-patient, elects to administer the vaccine, the vaccine is a covered benefit," the HMO explained. "If the decision is not to administer the vaccination, PacifiCare will support that decision as well." The HMO described its new guideline as "an effort to clarify some of the ambiguity in our earlier guideline."
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