In The News

Colorado requiring vaccinations for health care workers

The Hill / Celine Castronuovo

The Colorado Board of Health on Monday voted to implement a vaccine mandate for workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other state health care facilities following a request earlier this month from Gov. Jared Polis (D). 

The board members voted 6-1 in a virtual meeting that all employees, direct contractors and other staff at the roughly 3,800 health care facilities licensed in Colorado must receive their first dose of the vaccine by Sept. 30, according to local ABC affiliate KMGH

Under the measure, which is expected to be finalized by the state health board in October, all health care workers must be fully vaccinated no later than Oct. 31. 

The vaccine mandate will apply to staff members at general hospitals, rehabilitation centers, community health centers, assisted living facilities and other similar locations across the state, The Colorado Sun reported

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, roughly 30 percent of health care workers at these facilities are currently unvaccinated. 

Polis in an Aug. 17 letter to the state Board of Health called for a vaccine requirement among health workers due to the rising surge in COVID-19 cases, largely attributed to the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. 

“The pandemic we face today is largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” the governor wrote, echoing previous statements on the recent surges from federal health officials. 

“The State can meet this challenge by getting more people vaccinated and protecting those most at risk,” Polis added. “The vaccine is a safe and proven tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”

The governor pushed for the vaccine mandate among health workers following “conversations with both senior living industry leaders, patient advocates and leaders in healthcare.”

“It’s critical that all personnel who are capable of bringing the deadly virus into facilities where our vulnerable populations are in their custody be fully vaccinated in order to save lives,” he added at the time. 

However, opponents to the mandate who spoke at Monday’s board meeting argued that the requirement could fuel staffing shortages, with some workers saying that getting the COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal choice. 

The vote Monday makes Colorado the latest in a series of states to adopt similar vaccine requirements for health workers. 

Both California and New York moved earlier this month to require staff at health care facilities to be fully vaccinated, as well as Illinois, which also implemented a similar mandate for teachers at public schools.

 

Comments Needed Today for Colorado COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate!

Earlier this week, HHAC members received additional information about the pending State’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate rule after our Advocacy Team’s meetings with the CDPHE.

The Board of Health will be convening for a special session this coming Monday, August 30th, at 4:00 p.m. to consider the updated draft rules which can be found through the following link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EXWVy-Zsn9YEm272lyLR-cBpb_NotNXi/view?usp=drivesdk

Please take time to review the rules AND to comment. We know that this is very late notice, but in order to give healthcare providers time to comply with the Governor’s directive for a September 30th vaccination deadline, the CDPHE has had to push things through.

CDHPE is requesting that any written testimony be emailed to [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. TODAY!

Two matters that some members have expressed are of particular interest, include the requirements for a health or religious accommodation, and the fact that the rule as it stands would also apply to live-in (a.k.a. family) caregivers who are employees of an agency.

All applicable information and a Zoom link to register for Monday’s special session can be found here:

https://cdphe.colorado.gov/board-health-meetings

If the rule passes on Monday, it will immediately go into effect.

 
 

HHAC Statewide Members Only Webinar

Friday, September 10, 2021 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm MT

Join us to learn the latest about Home Care & Hospice in Colorado from HHAC leaders!

This FREE members only webinar will feature the HHAC lobby team Eliza Schultz, Elisabeth Rosen and Alan Morse with updates on what is happening at the Capitol, as well as Executive Director, Don Knox, with association updates. CDPHE representatives will also be available to present on the topic of drafting of a state-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for licensed facility healthcare workers; including those working for a home health, hospice, or personal care agency who have direct patient/client contact and answer questions. Gather your staff for this valuable update on the state of Home Care & Hospice in Colorado! 

ONLY Members in good standing with the association have access to this webinar via Zoom.

Members: click here to login and view the webinar information. 

 

Practical Implications of Vaccinating a Home Care Workforce Webinar

When: September 7, 2021 (12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. MT)

With the highly contagious delta variant, rising number of COVID-19 infections, and numerous questions or requests from clients, home care employers are realizing that COVID-19 vaccines are an increasingly important – and sometimes contentious – workplace safety issue. However, implementing vaccination requirements and achieving a vaccinated workforce presents many legal and practical challenges.

In this complimentary webinar, Littler attorneys will discuss these challenges and provide practical suggestions for deciding on a vaccination plan, responding to client questions and demands regarding vaccination status, and achieving a safe and healthy workplace for caregivers and clients.

Register Today 

 

Colorado HCBS ARPA Funding Plan Overview

On Monday, August 23, 2021, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing released a “HCBS ARPA Funding Plan Overview and Update.” A synopsis of the ARPA fund guidelines and of the proposed projects are attached to this email.

In total, there are 72 different projects included in the proposal that was submitted to CMS. Of those, projects pertaining to Home Care Based Services remain prominent.

HHAC will keep our membership updated on CMS approval and the details for projects that are pertinent to the industries we represent. Thank you to our Legislative Committee and to HHAC's Advocacy Team for your advocacy and substantially increasing the benefit of HHAC membership.

If you're not yet a member of the Association, we invite you to contact [email protected] to learn more about the benefits of membership and how you can get involved on one of our committees. 

HCBS ARPA Funding Plan Update.docx

 
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