LDH Issues Memo to Vaccine Providers on Non-Patient Discrimination

In a memo addressed to Louisiana hospitals, pharmacies and other recipients of Operation Warp Speed (OWS) COVID-19 vaccine doses dated January 19, 2021, the Louisiana Department of Health prohibited providers against patient/non-patient discrimination in use of OWS vaccine doses.

The memo outlines that the Department of Health has recently received indications that certain vaccine providers in the state are reserving their excess doses (i.e., doses that exceeds hospital, clinic, or pharmacy
staff uptake) of OWS COVID-19 vaccine for existing patients of their clinic, pharmacy, system or
institution (e.g., only for persons who have been patients of the hospital or clinic within the last x
months). While recent LDH guidance to Hospitals authorized the administration of excess
vaccine doses to individuals aged 70 and above, and certain other enumerated classes of
individuals, it was the intent of that guidance that providers do not discriminate between current
patients and non-current patients, or other similar metrics, in administering such excess doses. To
the extent that such discrimination is occurring, it must immediately cease.

OWS COVID-19 vaccine providers are required to ensure discrimination based on prior
commercial relationship with the provider, or any other type of relationship, does not occur. This
includes discrimination based on “existing” or “prior” patients of a particular provider.

All providers are reminded that distribution of OWS COVID-19 vaccine doses are
subject to after-action audits and adverse action could be considered if improper discrimination
by a provider is determined to have occurred.

You can read the memo here.

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