2020 Hero Myth V Fact Page2

Vaccines

Vaccines are safe and necessary, we’ve separated the myths from the facts.

MYTH

Vaccines cause autism.

FACT

There is no link between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In fact, the study that first perpetuated this myth has been debunked, retracted in 2010 and deemed fraudulent across global scientific communities.

MYTH

Vaccines may cause people to contract the disease they’re trying to prevent.

FACT

While vaccines often have mild side effects, they are, with rare exception, safe and the most effective way to prevent the spread of numerous infectious diseases.

MYTH

It is an individual’s choice to decline vaccinations for themselves or their children.

FACT

Public health programs such as vaccinations protect both individuals and the broader public. Though some groups, such as those who are immune compromised, should not always be vaccinated, their well-being relies on others getting vaccinated, developing “herd immunity” to keep everyone healthy.

MYTH

Vaccines aren’t needed if a disease has largely disappeared in the U.S.

FACT

If not enough people are vaccinated, herd immunity is put at risk and there is the opportunity for infectious diseases to spread quickly even in places it was once thought to be eradicated.

MYTH

Better hygiene and sanitation have led to a decrease in infectious diseases, not vaccines.

FACT

Improved hygiene and sanitation have improved health, but they are no replacement for immunizations. Permanent declines in disease coincide with widespread usage of vaccines. In countries where immunization levels were allowed to drop, an immediate, dramatic increase in disease occurred.

Surprise Bills

Congress is considering two different ways to resolve payment disputes involving surprise bills. We’ve fact-checked the arguments:

MYTH

Setting a benchmark to pay surprise bills is like government rate-setting.

FACT

Benchmarks would use the negotiated, market rates between private insurers and clinicians, and do not rely on a government standard.

MYTH

A benchmark would reduce payments below what doctors and hospitals need to stay in business.

FACT

Private health insurers already pay well above Medicare rates. For example, the national median reimbursement for anesthesiologists is currently 344 percent of Medicare.

 

*Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

MYTH

A payment benchmark would deter health plans from contracting with doctors and hospitals.

FACT

Creating a benchmark payment will not erode networks. Health plans develop different types of networks based on employer and consumer needs, and state laws also require adequate numbers of doctors and hospitals in networks.

MYTH

Arbitration would not raise healthcare costs.

FACT

Arbitration requires an expensive new infrastructure and would continue to give physicians an incentive to remain out-of-network to chase higher reimbursements.

MYTH

Arbitration will only be used to resolve a small number of cases.

FACT

In states that have implemented arbitration like New York and Texas, the number of arbitration cases has been increasing over time, sometimes with a growing backlog and wait times for resolution.

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