The Latest: The Department of Health (DOH) has released draft proposed regulations for health care worker photo identification badges which include a provision to have employees’ photographs updated every four years. HAP submitted comments to DOH outlining concerns that the four-year update imposes an undue financial and administrative burden on health care organizations. HAP indicated that it is more appropriate for DOH to require hospitals to establish clear policies regarding when photos need to be updated, including but not limited to, a change in name, title, or job; and for such policies to include reasonable time frames to ensure currency of photo identification. In addition, HAP requested that DOH consider allowing facilities to establish policies defining the circumstances related to personal security where certain personnel are only required to have their first name and last initial included on the badge. HAP also suggested that DOH include an exceptions process for certain employees working under a certain condition or with a certain patient population. Questions about the draft proposed regulations should be sent to Mary Marshall.
Background:Act 110 of 2010amends chapter 51 of the Health Care Facilities Act to require all health care workers in all patient settings to wear a photo identification (ID) badge. The Department of Health (DOH) is charged with developing the regulations to enforce the law. DOH published final interim regulationsin the Pennsylvania Bulletin requiring employees who deliver direct care to a consumer outside of a health care facility or employment agency and to employees of the private practice of a physician to wear photo ID badges. The interim regulations list the items that must be contained on the photo ID badge, and the regulations include a requirement that photographs shall be updated every four years. The interim regulations became effective upon their publication and will expire 18 months following the effective date or upon promulgation of final regulations by DOH.