Situation Report | August 10, 2020
At its July 30 meeting, the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC) approved a proposed regulation to reduce tuberculosis testing requirements for home care and other health care workers.
The rule requires an “initial individual tuberculosis (TB) risk assessment, symptom evaluation, and TB test” prior to employment. Under previous requirements, employees had to be additionally tested every year for negative findings, but this is being replaced with a requirement for “annual assessments.”
Positive findings shall still require appropriate clinical follow-up and the medical staff shall “develop and implement policies regarding positive findings, including procedures for facilitating and documenting treatment for latent TB infection where indicated. Annual TB assessment shall include education, individual risk assessment, and follow-up tests as indicated.”
Even with the change to annual assessments, impacted providers can, however, consider using serial TB screening of certain groups who might be at increased occupational risk for TB exposure (e.g. pulmonologists or respiratory therapists) or in certain settings if transmission has occurred in the past (e.g. emergency departments). Policies would also require clear procedures for offering and documenting treatment of TB infection.
HCA had submitted comments to the state Department of Health (DOH) in support of the then-proposed regulation.
PHHPC meetings are webcast at https://www.health.ny.gov/events/webcasts/.
HCA will inform members when DOH issues any guidance on this issue.