HCA Continues to Press State Officials for Vaccination Mandate Accommodations for Home Care and Hospice

Situation Report | September 7, 2021 

HCA Statewide Member Meeting Draws 200+ Participants with Solid Questions and Input

In the wake of the August 26 emergency adoption of state regulations mandating vaccination of health personnel, including home care and hospice workers, HCA is pressing state officials every day for vital accommodations for agencies, workers and ultimately for access to critical care. 

Last week, HCA President Al Cardillo gave written and oral testimony to the state Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) and the state Department of Health (DOH) addressing the industry’s concerns and recommendations on the state’s proposed vaccination mandate, with particular focus on the serious workforce shortage emergency.

A summary of the mandate along with HCA’s testimony were covered in the August 30 Situation Report.

HCA has since followed with continuous outreach to the Governor’s office and DOH, pressing officials to work timely with HCA to implement accommodations and supports for home care and hospice. Indeed, members of PHHPC returned with their concerns for home care and the risk of “inadvertent consequences” of the vaccine mandate before adjourning their September 2 meeting on school masking requirements. The Council stressed willingness to convene on an emergency basis to modify the vaccination regulations if necessary and based on the further consideration of home care and industry-wide concerns. 

Meanwhile, simultaneous with this PHHCP meeting, HCA conducted a virtual statewide member meeting drawing over 200 participants to discuss the terms of the vaccine policy, implications for workers and patient care, essential questions and ways the state can be supporting home care’s efforts with vaccination. HCA is combining the input from this meeting, the HCA Board of Directors, the membership at large, discussions with other states, the PHHPC and all other sources in its advocacy with the state. Also, in the immediate, HCA has requested a very critically needed FAQ document for providers to ensure clarity in state expectations and parameters for compliance. 

In conjunction with all of these actions, HCA is discussing collaboration with key partners to maximize the strength of the advocacy table. 

HCA members should continue to submit questions, recommendations and vaccination-related data on their organization’s workforce to HCA. HCA will keep members closely apprised of our efforts and all developments with regard to this vaccination policy.