Two weeks after COVID vaccination deadline, many nursing home employees still unvaccinated

President Biden mandated shots by Dec. 6
Hyde Park Health Center in Cincinnati
Posted at 11:21 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-18 21:58:31-05

CINCINNATI — Two weeks after President Biden's Dec. 6 COVID vaccination deadline for healthcare workers, many nursing home employees are still unvaccinated, according to the most recent data published by Medicaid and Medicare Services.

The WCPO 9 I-Team reviewed data for dozens of local nursing homes and found many of them fall far short of the president's mandate.

Ohio has one of the lowest nursing home staff vaccination rates in the country, according to the Medicaid and Medicare data.

In Hyde Park Health Center on Cincinnati's East Side, 17% of the employees were vaccinated, according to data published Dec. 5 on the Medicaid and Medicare website.

On Friday, the nursing home's executive director declined the I-Team's request for an interview.

"After our conversation, I went back and reviewed our employee vaccination numbers," Hyde Park Health Center Executive Director Kevin Fluehr wrote in an email to the I-Team. "We are actually at a 72% employee vaccination rate."

Fluehr wrote, "There has been some turnover recently in our HR Department, but everything has been verified for accuracy and the error has been corrected."

Other nursing home operators have told the I-Team that the Medicaid and Medicare data, which is provided by the nursing homes, is often out-dated and not accurate.

The data shows only 29% of the employees at the Chateau at Mountain Crest Nursing and Rehab Center on Cincinnati's West Side had received at least one shot of the COVID vaccine.

The nursing home is managed by JAG Healthcare.

"At some point, this past fall, it might have been that low," JAG Healthcare CEO James Griffiths said. "But I know this, if they came in today, we can show them every single person has a vaccination card. We're going to comply with the law as all healthcare workers and healthcare employers should do."

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