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  • Ann Tucker

Louisiana health providers told not to limit coronavirus vaccines to only their patients

The Louisiana Department of Health told health providers Tuesday to stop limiting vaccinations to their own patients, warning they could lose out on future allocations of the vaccine or face penalties if they don’t make the shots available to anyone who meets the current eligibility groups.

Dr. Joe Kanter, Louisiana’s state health officer, wrote a letter to providers saying the agency has “received indications” some providers are limiting their vaccinations to people who had been patients of a hospital or clinic within recent months.

“To the extent that such discrimination is occurring, it must immediately cease,” Kanter wrote. He reminded providers they are subject to audits and “adverse action” could be considered if they are deemed to have “discriminated” between current patients of their facility and other members of the public.

Aly Neel, a spokesperson for the agency, said the agency received complaints about “several providers” not allowing vaccines to people because they weren’t a patient of a particular institution. She said “adverse actions” can mean financial penalties, limiting future vaccine allocations and legal action.

Our Lady of the Lake and Ochsner Health, two of Louisiana’s largest health systems, said recently they were limiting vaccine appointments at their hospitals to patients who are already in their system. Read more

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