In order to limit the spread of flu, 19 states now have regulations governing flu vaccination requirements by healthcare facilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], most of the policies require hospitals to provide flu shots free to staff and some require either immunizations or individual exemptions because of health concerns or religious beliefs.
New York is the most recent state to start regulating flu vaccinations. It’s estimated that fewer than half of New York’s healthcare workers get flu vaccinations, so the state is requiring thousands of medical staff and other personnel to get vaccinated or wear masks when in close contact with patients. Many people may decide to get inoculated rather than having to deal with masks throughout the course of flu season.
The rules apply to more than 4,000 healthcare organizations including hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and clinics and cover physicians, contractors, students and volunteers as well as others. In addition, New York healthcare facilities are required to document their compliance with the rules and track the vaccination status of all employees.

Rhode Island adopted a similar policy last year and has seen a significant increase in the number of workers vaccinated against the flu. This may be due to a provision to fine both workers and facilities $100 for each violation.
As more states join in the fight against the spread of seasonal flu, facilities that use the ReptraxTM vendor credentialing system can proactively prepare for increased regulation by their state. The Reptrax Seasonal Flu Snapshot provides vaccination statistics and monitors the flu vaccination rates of all types of non-employees that check in to the facility including, but not limited to, contracted personnel, healthcare industry representatives, volunteers and students.
Sources:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/09/17/3632951/ny-hospital-staffs-must-get-flu.html#storylink=cpy
http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Flu-shot-or-mask-for-health-care-workers-4744978.phpReceive the IntelliCentrics Blog in your inbox every time we publish a new blog post.  Click here to subscribe to our blog today!


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