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CDPHE: Providers need to let people schedule vaccines regardless of patient status

CDPHE set the deadline for health care providers to set up scheduling systems to Friday, Jan. 22.

DENVER — In a letter sent Sunday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) gave health care providers less than a week to create systems to allow people to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of their patient status. 

The directive, which the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) said was sent without any warning from the state, is meant to "dismantle barriers to access, such as unnecessary identification and patient affiliation requirements." 

CDPHE also asked providers to not require people to present any kind of ID when scheduling or signing up for COVID-19 vaccine information and to go by the "honor system" when it comes to people explaining their eligibility criteria based on the current phase. 

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A spokesperson for the hospital network Banner Health said while they already are allowing non-patients to register for a vaccine appointment, they will stop asking for identification this week. 

"We applaud the state’s efforts to expand the number of providers administering the COVID-19 vaccine and to ensure the process makes getting a vaccine more equitable across Colorado," said Sara Quale, Banner Health public relations director.

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Adam Dormuth, a spokesperson with National Jewish Health, said, "We have built a system that will enable us to schedule those who are not our patients. It will be ready within the next week." 

Neither Denver Health nor HealthONE were able to confirm if they will be able to meet the state's deadline of setting up a system for non-patients to schedule future vaccine appointments by the Jan. 22 deadline. 

> Video below: Hospitals adjust to allow COVID-19 vaccine signups regardless of patient status.

As of Jan. 17, April Valdez Villa, a Denver Health spokesperson, said they are also working on a process to offer vaccinations to residents of the City and County of Denver age 70 and older who are not currently Denver Health patients.

"This is a complex and fast-changing situation and we would ask for patience," she said. 

A spokesperson with HealthOne said they currently only have enough vaccines to administer to staff and other health care providers. 

Both UCHealth, Kaiser and Centura Health had previously created online portals for people to schedule vaccinations, regardless of patient status. 

>> Read the full letter below: