Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

September 20, 2021

This is a very strange time in our society.  I’ve told a lot of people that a year ago we (in response to Covid) were all pulling in the same direction.  Now?  It’s a divided community.  Whether politically, or vaccination status, or a variety of other controversial topics; it feels like people are digging harder and deeper in their opinions and convictions more than ever before.  This doesn’t feel healthy … or sustainable.  

I was talking to a close friend about this.  I told her “It feels like regardless of whatever decision I or we make, it’ll make someone unhappy.”  She said then -- “Your goal then should be to pick a direction that upsets the least amount of people.”  Sigh.    

Amy sent out an email last Friday about the mandate from the president to have all hospitals make sure their staff is vaccinated or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.  The decision as to whether or not to vaccinate, and be an employee or work at Iowa Specialty Hospitals and Clinics, has been removed from us.  Over the course of the next weeks or months, we will have more information (like - “by when?” and “how to measure”).  Bottom line, though - we won’t win this fight so we will have to follow through with this direction.  For those who have yet to be vaccinated, we will be asking you what your plans are.  Medical and religious exemptions will probably* be allowed but beyond that, we plan to comply.  

At the end of the day, we have to pick our battles to win the war.  The way to win our “war” is to keep the doors open.  Without Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, it’s not possible to run this organization.  The decision on whether or not we require the staff to be vaccinated is not ours to make anymore.  Not complying is not an option.

*even though it wasn’t highlighted expressly in the presidential proclamation - I assume medical and religious exemptions will be allowed.

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