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Published: Wednesday, 8/10/2005

Henry County increasing flu-vaccine fee to $18

NAPOLEON - Flu vaccines from the Henry County Health Department will cost more this year.

The Henry County Board of Health yesterday agreed to increase its fee for vaccines to $18, up from $15, which had been its price for several years.

"I'm sure you're going to see $20 or $25 throughout the area," Health Commissioner Hans Schmalzried told the board.

Medicare reimbursement is $17.83. If the board had not increased its price, it would not have recouped all of the government funding available.

The health department pays about $10 for the vaccine itself, which has increased in recent years, plus the needle, syringe, and staff costs.

Also yesterday, the health board agreed to:

●Recruit a nurse to work two days a week in its family planning clinic, which is growing.

Through the end of July, the clinic has had 536 patients, which is more than it saw in all of 2002 and almost as many as it had throughout 2003.

In 2004, the clinic, which performs medical exams for women seeking birth control, HIV testing, and other procedures, had 633 patients.

Commissioner Schmalzried said the growth might be due to longer hours and more convenient parking offered by the health department in recent years as well as its employment of female nurse practitioners for the clinic instead of a male physician as it had previously.

●Employ five dentists part-time - a record number - in its dental clinic.

The board hired Dr. Matt Maley, of Lucas County, to work at least eight hours a week in its dental clinic at a rate of $55 an hour.

The clinic, which was open several times a month when it started in the late 1990s, has grown rapidly and is now open daily.

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