DOH Reduces Annual Tuberculosis Testing of Health Care Workers

Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC

Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has updated its regulations for annual assessments of health care personnel. Effective December 16, 2020, health care personnel in certain facilities will no longer be required to have an annual tuberculosis (TB) test. Instead, such personnel must be assessed annually for TB risk and symptom evaluation. A TB test will only be required if there are any symptoms suggestive of TB disease, or if there is a new risk for infection. (See DOH’s comments in Dec. 19, 2020 Register, available here.)

The Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) issued by DOH on December 16, 2020 explains that these changes are based on other national guidance, and in light of the fact that “an individual risk assessment is the primary screening tool, with repeat testing . . . only when indicated.”

These changes to testing requirements, which may be helpful for providers who have had difficulties in meeting the requirement in the past, apply to health care providers in the following settings:

  • Integrated Outpatient Services (under 10 NYCRR § 404.12)
  • General Hospitals (10 NYCRR § 405.3)
  • Nursing Homes (10 NYCRR § 415.26)
  • Diagnostic and Treatment Centers (10 NYCRR § 751.6)
  • Certified Home Health Agencies, Long Term Home Health Care Programs and AIDS Home Care Programs (10 NYCRR § 763.13)
  • Licensed Home Care Services Agencies and the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (10 NYCRR § 766.11)
  • Hospices (10 NYCRR § 794.3)
  • Assisted Living Residences (10 NYCRR § 1001.11) 

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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