2015/2016 bills

2015/2016 Vermont Legislative Session

h98-button … An act relating to reportable disease registries and data

4/10/2015 Action: Oppose… contact your senator: “oppose H98 or amend for equal privacy protections/penalties for willful breach for all registries.”

Status: passed the house (read version passed by house), amended by Senate Health Committee and passed 5-0 (read version passed by committee); to be voted on Senate floor April 14th. We asked for privacy protections and penalties for breach of data to be added into the immunization registry portion of this bill (read more). The Senate Health Committee did not honor our concerns, but did amend the bill to specifically target private schools.

Open questions: (see diagram and info)

1) What are the specifics of the “written agreement” referred to in paragraph (e) that protects information between the registry and paragraphs (c) and (d)?—that is research, other state registries (crossing state lines) and health care provider networks?

Is it the same as the provider agreement (see diagram and info) and if so, why not stated in the law?

2) Given the clear federal law (see diagram and info) excluding state public health surveillance from HIPAA requirements, it must be specified in the state law what, if any, the privacy and use rules are.

3) Since Vermont is one of only 9 states with no opt out or consent allowances in the vaccination registry law, we would argue that both of those provisions be included in this new writing of the law. This would be in keeping with the vast majority of the laws in other states regarding vaccination registries (see Figure 3 on page 6 of diagram and info)

S9-buttin … An act relating to improving Vermont’s system for protecting children from abuse and neglect

4/10/2015 status: passed the senate (read version passed by senate); passed the House Human Services Committee with amendment (read version passed the committee). Headed to House Judiciary Committee. (read more about our position on this bill…)

The following bills are not expected to see action in 2015 but please make sure your legislator knows the importance of vaccine choice:

Note: For info. on vaccine bills in other states, visit www.NVICadvocacy.org

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Video: Protect Vaccine Choices in Vermont   

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2014 Legislative Session – Vermont

Bill H.762 “Behavioral Risk Assessment” and “Medical Home” reimbursement

(text: “Reimbursement for primary care provided to a Medicaid patient shall be contingent upon the provider’s use of the Adverse Childhood Experience Questionnaire for the purpose of assessing the patient’s health risks. As used in this section, “primary care” means health services provided by health care professionals to identify and treat asymptomatic individuals who have risk  factors or preclinical disease, but in whom the disease is not clinically apparent, including immunizations and screening, counseling, treatment, and medication determined by scientific evidence to be effective in preventing or detecting a condition.”)

Feedback from a VT physician:

I personally would not participate in this as a physician because I deem this unethical. This is sensitive information. The state plans to create a central database and all data will be entered automatically into the database–no opting out. The doctor cannot exercise his ethical responsibility to honor the patient’s wishes on how to use the data. Also, paperwork requirements like this chew up time–it detracts from the doctor’s face to face time with the patient. If this is permitted, there is no end to paperwork requirements. The choice of how to collect data is a clinical decision. Legislators are practicing medicine when they mandate things like this.”

Bill S. 194, introduced by Senator Mullin calls for the public posting of vaccination rates at schools. These data are already available on the Department of Health website. This bill aims to divide communities over fear of “falling vaccination rates,” even though vaccination is not immunization. On January 10, 2014, Dr. Chen visited the Senate Health and Welfare committee and presented an example of data available by school, but after we questioned the Dept. of Health as to whether this bill was a legislative priority, Dr. Chen wrote a memo to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Feb 4, 2014 which states, “‘We believe that we can work with the Agency of Education to increase the use of data currently available for public reporting without additional legislation.”

Bills H.114/S.103 propose to remove all “non-medical” vaccine exemptions from Vermont parents and propose to require all adults to be vaccinated for pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus in order to work/volunteer in, or attend, any daycare, childcare, school or university. This bill was in effort to stem an already waning whooping cough epidemic, in which 76% of the cases were in “fully and appropriately” vaccinated Vermonters. See Recommended Reading List of Scientific Publications on Whooping Cough (“Pertussis”) and information for lawmakers.

Teachers & Adults at daycare/childcare/school/university will be next to face forced vaccination…  IVT Bills H.138/S.102 pass this year, power will be transferred from your elected Legislature to the unelected Health Commissioner/Agency of Human Services/Department of Health (Executive Branch). The bills propose to grant power to remove vaccine choice and consent from parents in order to attend any school.  If these bills pass in winter of 2013-2014, all non-medical vaccine exemptions would be suspended by the health commissioner  if any vaccination rate for any vaccine drops below “90%”. All adults working or volunteering at any VT daycare/childcare/school/university would then need to be vaccinated to remain employed. Voluntary quarantine of  susceptible individuals would make much more sense. 

Bill S.142 proposes to allow pharmacists to give any vaccine to any child over the age of 7 and does not include any provision for parental consent. This bill is a slap in the face of the mother of Kaylynne Matten, a 7 yr old who was lost after a flu vaccine here in VT in 2011. Kaylynne was one of two children and three Vermonters who died after vaccination that year. Read more about S.142 here.