Vaccine mandate looming for neighborhood hospitals, overall health care staff

Community wellbeing officials and workers are getting ready for the looming federal mandate that would call for about 17 million wellness treatment employees in 76,000 hospitals, nursing properties and other health care facilities to be absolutely vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4.

As opposed to the mandate for non-public organizations, the emergency purchase issued Nov. 4 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not give overall health treatment staff who refuse vaccination the option of finding tested in lieu of immunization. 

Employees at Avita Wellness System, with services in Richland and Crawford counties, final Friday ended up sent an email by Jerome Morasko, the clinic president and CEO, stating that each individual wellbeing treatment employee at Avita must be vaccinated for COVID “in order to remain in the Medicare and Medicaid software.”

“In purchase to continue to be in the Medicare and Medicaid system Avita Health Program ought to comply with this mandate,” Morasko said in the medical center conversation attained by the News Journal.

Mandate ‘not popular’ with many workers associates

“I know that this is not well-liked with lots of of our employees, but I am asking for your entire cooperation in complying with this mandate,” Morasko said in the email.

The Nov. 12 e-mail to Avita workers states that the Nov. 4 order from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Solutions (CMS) requires mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all well being care personnel. This is different than the OSHA mandate that is now on hold in the federal court procedure and that mandate relates to the general market (non-health care). This CMS mandate consists of all wellbeing care personnel, employees, professional medical personnel and APP’s with privileges who offer on-site services, staff members, pupils, volunteers, reps, sellers and contractors. In get to continue to be in the Medicare and Medicaid program Avita Wellbeing Procedure should comply with this mandate,” Morasko wrote.

The mandate requires all wellbeing treatment staff members to have the initially of a two-dose vaccine or a solitary dose vaccine by Dec. 5, and to be thoroughly vaccinated by Jan. 4.

“We have been operating on a system on how to roll out this mandate, and we will supply you with an updated coverage and rules,” Morasko claimed.

The Information Journal attained out to Amanda Hatcher, Avita spokeswoman, on Monday, inquiring if nurses have been likely to drop their jobs if not vaccinated.

Hatcher

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Labor shortage being felt at hospitals, healthcare systems

Almost every industry across the state over the past 18 months has been affected by a labor shortage.

Included in the labor shortage situation are health care staff, who are needed now more than ever as daily COVID-19 infections continue to surge across the state and in Northern Michigan.

Dr. Christine Nefcy, chief medical officer with Munson Healthcare, said Munson Healthcare — like many health care systems across the State of Michigan — is suffering from staffing issues for a variety of reasons.

Munson Healthcare, like other Michigan health systems including Ascension, Beaumont, Bronson, Henry Ford, Spectrum and University of Michigan, announced last month policies for staff to require COVID-19 vaccinations.

Munson Healthcare officials said the decision is a proactive move in anticipation of a federal requirement.

Specific details regarding a plan to require vaccinations for any business which employs 100 or more workers have not been released yet, but are expected to come soon.

John Karasinski, communications director for the MichiganHealth and Hospital Association, said it still remains to be seen what the actual policy details will be.

“However, our biggest concern is the potential impact on staffing,” Karasinski said. “While it creates a national standard for healthcare providers and facilities, it could result in employees in non-clinical positions leaving hospitals for other industries and smaller workplaces not impacted by the employer mandate.”

Other systems including McLaren have yet to make the COVID shot mandatory, but rather strongly encourage all employees to get vaccinated.

“Everybody is quite busy with non-COVID related issues as well as COVID, so all of (health care systems) are seeing the same thing,” Nefcy said. “What we have noticed here in Northern Michigan is our ability to transfer some of our sickest patients out of the system to other entities which would have traditionally taken them is taking much longer.

Christine Nefcy

“We are having much longer waits in our emergency departments for people who need to be hospitalized,” Nefcy added. “The pressure is really everywhere across the state and our ICU beds continue to increase in occupancy.” 

A story published recently in Bridge Michigan mentioned emergency department visits are up 43% in the last year in Michigan.

Additionally, studies have repeatedly shown emergency department overcrowding increases the risk of a patient to get sicker, or even die.

“Across our system we often see single digits in terms of critical care beds we have available and we

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