Under Loyola's policy, all employees, medical students, volunteers, and contractors must receive the vaccine, which is offered at no charge to all workers. If individuals choose to receive the vaccine at a drugstore or through another setting, documentation from that provider is accepted, but that is rare, Parada says.
Of the 15 total healthcare workers who were terminated because they refused to get the vaccine since 2009, nine left during the program's first year. That was the biggest year," he says, "but five of those employees had lined up other employment and had the intent to leave independent of this policy."
The idea of universal vaccination within healthcare settings is an increasingly important priority for the federal government. Starting last January 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began requiring acute care hospitals to report healthcare provider vaccination levels as part of the inpatient quality reporting program.
In exchange for reporting that information, hospitals can avoid a 2% reduction in its reimbursement from Medicare, effective Oct. 1, 2014. Hospitals participating in the IQR must report vaccination rates for all employees who worked for at least 30 days from October 2012 through March 2013.