Proposed vaccination rule to get CMS airing

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will hold a free satellite and Internet broadcast Thursday on the proposed flu vaccination rule for nursing home residents.

The broadcast is available to personnel form Medicare or Medicaid certified skilled nursing facilities, and other parties. It will be held from 1-3:30 p.m. Eastern time and also emphasize the importance of immunizing healthcare workers and other staff members. To register for the broadcast, visit http://cms.internetstreaming.com.

CMS surprised providers when it proposed the rule in mid-August. Providers had been in discussions with federal officials but had not expected anything as stringent as a rule to be proposed. The measure calls for mandatory flu and pneumonia vaccinations of nursing home residents, unless medically contraindicated or the resident refuses. Providers, who must take responsibility for knowing all residents' vaccination histories under the rule, are concerned about possible research and logistical headaches.

For more information on the proposed rule, visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/media/press/release.asp?Counter=1534. It is slated to be in effect for the coming flu season.