Texas Department of Human Services

COMMISSIONER
Eric M. Bost

August 7, 2000

BOARD MEMBERS
David Herndon
Chair, Austin
Elizabeth D. Seale
Vice Chair, San Antonio
John A. Cuellar
Dallas
Bill Jones
Houston
Terry Durkin Wilkinson
Midland
Carole Woodard
Galveston
To: All Licensed Nursing Facility (NF) Administrators
Re:  Provider Letter 00-29 -- Information Regarding Required Immunizations for NFs

The purpose of this letter is to notify NFs that the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS) has been notified by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) that there may be a delay in the distribution of influenza vaccine and possibly substantially fewer total doses of vaccine available than last year. However, NF residents, as people at high risk for complications from influenza and their close contacts (i.e. NF employees), should have priority in the distribution process. NFs should contact their facility supplier of influenza vaccine immediately to be assured they will be able to obtain the vaccine for their residents and employees.

New rules regarding vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia are effective August 1, 2000. These rules are contained in the Nursing Facility Requirements for Licensure and Certification in 19.1601 (3) and are the result of a law passed by the 76th Texas State Legislature.

Influenza Vaccine

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Documentation of Receipt or Refusal of Vaccinations

 Records showing the date of the receipt or refusal of the annual influenza vaccination, must be maintained for each employee in contact with residents. Residents' medical records must document the date of the receipt or refusal of the annual influenza vaccination and the pneumococcal vaccine.

Billing

Influenza and pneumococcal vaccine may be billed to Medicare part B for residents. Most Medicaid residents receive Medicare Part B benefits. Vaccinations for staff may be dispensed at the facility and noted on the annual cost report. There must be no expense to the employee.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please call Sharon Balcezak, R.N. at 512-438-3529 or E-mail at: sharon.balcezak@dhs.state.tx.us.

Sincerely,

- Original Signature on File -

Marc Gold
Director
Long Term Care Policy

MG:sb