powered by LeadingAge New York
  1. Home
  2. » Providers
  3. » Nursing Homes
  4. » DOH Notices and Policies
  5. » LeadingAge NY Comments on COVID-19 Vaccination Offer Regulation

LeadingAge NY Comments on COVID-19 Vaccination Offer Regulation

LeadingAge NY called for greater clarity, elimination of duplicative regulations, and proportionality of penalties in its comments on the proposed regulation requiring nursing homes and adult care facilities (ACFs) to offer or arrange for COVID-19 vaccinations for residents and staff. The proposed regulation was first adopted as an emergency regulation and renewed repeatedly. It is now under consideration for permanent adoption.

Under the regulation, every nursing home must offer, and every ACF must make diligent efforts to arrange for, COVID-19 vaccinations for all consenting, unvaccinated existing personnel and residents. These offers and efforts must be documented, and any decision to decline a vaccination must be documented by a signed affirmation. Nursing homes are also required to post conspicuous signage throughout the facility, including at points of entry and exit and each residential hallway, reminding personnel and residents that the facility offers COVID-19 vaccination. Violations of the requirements are subject to standard penalties for violations of the Public Health Law. However, for ACFs, the "failure to arrange for the vaccination of every facility resident and personnel . . . constitutes a 'failure in systemic practices and procedures.'" The regulation also mentions referral for criminal investigation as a potential penalty for ACFs.

LeadingAge NY's comments focused on the following concerns:

  • The regulation requires nursing homes and ACFs to offer or arrange for vaccinations of residents, even if they know the vaccine is medically contraindicated for that resident.
  • The regulation is similar, but not identical, to federal regulations applicable to nursing homes. As a result, it has the potential to generate confusion and trigger duplicative penalties.
  • The penalty provision for ACFs is disproportionately harsh.
  • The requirement for nursing homes to post vaccination information in every resident hallway is excessive.
  • The ACF language in the regulation is not entirely consistent with the vaccine mandate requirements outlined in a separate set of regulations.

The public comment period closed on Aug. 8th. Prior to adoption, the regulation must be approved by the Public Health and Health Planning Council (PHHPC).

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org