SENATE, No. 2984

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 29, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JOSEPH F. VITALE

District 19 (Middlesex)

Senator  JIM WHELAN

District 2 (Atlantic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires health care facilities to offer influenza vaccination to their health care workers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning influenza vaccination of certain health care workers and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  As used in this act:

     “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.

     “Health care facility” means a general or special hospital or nursing home licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.).

     “Health care worker” means a person employed by a health care facility who provides direct patient care or otherwise has contact with patients.

     b.    Commencing with the 2011-2012 influenza season, each health care facility shall establish and implement an annual influenza vaccination program in accordance with the current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this act.

     c.     For the purposes of its annual influenza vaccination program, each health care facility shall:

     (1)  annually offer to provide an on-site or off-site influenza vaccination to each of its health care workers; except that a health care worker may, in lieu of accepting the influenza vaccination offer, present acceptable proof of a current influenza vaccination from another vaccination source, or sign a written declination statement;

     (2)  maintain a record of influenza vaccinations for each health care worker, and retain each signed declination statement from a health care worker who elects not to receive an influenza vaccination;

     (3)  provide an educational component to its program that is designed to inform health care workers about:  influenza vaccination; non-vaccine influenza control measures; and the symptoms, transmission, and potential impact of influenza; and

     (4)  annually conduct an evaluation of the program with the goal of improving the rate of vaccination among its health care workers.

     d.    A health care facility may suspend its annual offer of influenza vaccination pursuant to this act in the event of a shortage of influenza vaccine as determined by the commissioner.

     e.     (1) Any determination by the commissioner of noncompliance by a health care facility with the provisions of this act, based upon an inspection or survey conducted by the Department of Health and Senior Services pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-5), or as otherwise determined by the commissioner, shall not constitute a licensure violation or deficiency with respect to that facility for the purposes of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.), or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

     (2)  The commissioner shall seek to minimize any record-keeping burden imposed on a health care facility pursuant to this act and shall take such actions as are necessary to ensure the confidentiality of any data furnished to the department pursuant to this act that may contain information identifying an individual health care worker.

 

     2.    The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B- 1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires health care facilities to annually offer influenza vaccination to their health care workers.

     The bill provides specifically as follows:

·   Commencing with the 2011-2012 influenza season, each health care facility is to establish and implement an annual influenza vaccination program in accordance with the current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and any rules and regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services pursuant to the bill.

·   The bill defines:

     -- “health care facility” to mean a general or special hospital or nursing home licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.); and

     -- “health care worker” to mean a person employed by a health care facility who provides direct patient care or otherwise has contact with patients.

·   For the purposes of its annual influenza vaccination program, each health care facility is to:

     -- annually offer to provide an on-site or off-site influenza vaccination to each of its health care workers; except that a health care worker may, in lieu of accepting the influenza vaccination offer, present acceptable proof of a current influenza vaccination from another vaccination source, or sign a written declination statement;

     -- maintain a record of influenza vaccinations for each health care worker, and retain each signed declination statement from a health care worker who elects not to receive an influenza vaccination;

     -- provide an educational component to its program that is designed to inform health care workers about:  influenza vaccination; non-vaccine influenza control measures; and the symptoms, transmission, and potential impact of influenza; and

     -- annually conduct an evaluation of the program with the goal of improving the rate of vaccination among its health care workers.

·   A health care facility may suspend its annual offer of influenza vaccination pursuant to the bill in the event of a shortage of influenza vaccine as determined by the commissioner.

·   Any determination by the commissioner of noncompliance by a health care facility with the provisions of the bill, based upon an inspection or survey conducted by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1971 c.136 (C.26:2H-5), or as otherwise determined by the commissioner, will not constitute a licensure violation or deficiency with respect to that facility for the purposes of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.), or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.

·   The commissioner is to seek to minimize any record-keeping burden imposed on a health care facility pursuant to the bill and to take such actions as are necessary to ensure the confidentiality of any data furnished to DHSS pursuant to the bill that may contain information identifying an individual health care worker.