On December 16, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) issued a notice of adoption in the State Register of proposed rules (see summary of proposed rules ICB-6) to reduce annual tuberculosis (TB) testing for health care workers. The updated requirements for baseline and annual TB assessments of health care personnel in hospitals, certified home health agencies, and hospices require facilities to have policies for TB testing that ensure adequate baseline assessments, annual individual risk assessment, and education, with further testing as indicated. The updated guidance aligns with national guidelines on employee screening from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The advisory (attached) on the updated rules clarifies that most health care personnel in New York State do not need annual testing for TB but should have an annual risk assessment and be tested if there are any symptoms suggestive of TB disease or new risk for infection.

GNYHA and its members have encouraged DOH to update its rules on TB testing for health care workers to align with CDC guidance, and we are pleased that the reduced testing will allow health care facilities to focus their efforts on effective risk assessment and infection control.