On the heels of a mass COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), digital ID startup Nametag has launched an automated vaccine verification system for employers.
COVID Proof for employers uses artificial intelligence with biometric recognition to match vaccination cards with government-issued IDs, allowing employers to track the vaccination statuses of hundreds of employees without the need to manually check each card.
Employees upload their information through the app, and employers can download real-time reports of employee vaccination status, built to meet the Department of Labor’s Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) updated reporting requirements.
The service is free for companies with 250 employees or less and costs $5 per employee thereafter.
Last week, CMS announced that healthcare workers will be required to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 5 as a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid.
Workers will then be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.
The agency said the requirements would apply to roughly 76,000 providers and 7 million healthcare workers across the U.S.
Other companies have launched workplace tracking tools to help companies comply with vaccine mandates, such as ReturnSafe, Carbon Health and employer wellness company Virgin Pulse. IBM and Salesforce teamed up to offer a blockchain-powered smartphone app to help organizations verify an individual's vaccine status. The app integrates IBM’s Digital Health Pass with Salesforce’s web-based employee management platform.
“The new COVID vaccination mandates have many companies scrambling to find a way to automate compliance as it will be nearly impossible to manually check every vaccination card,” said Aaron Painter, CEO and founder of Nametag. “We focus on verifying identity, so creating an automated solution to the problem of vaccine verification was an easy extension for us. Our first priority is protecting people’s information. After that, we wanted to make sure our product is simple for both employers and employees and can be implemented quickly. We feel confident we’ve done that with COVID Proof for Employers and we hope it will reduce some of the stress and uncertainty for those impacted by these new mandates.”
Most healthcare leaders have supported COVID vaccination mandates, though some have worried about the toll such mandates could pose on their dwindling workforces.
Provider organizations across the country have fired thousands of employees this year for failing to comply with vaccination requirements.
OSHA also released new standards last week requiring private employers with 100 employees or more to create and enforce COVID vaccination or testing policies.
The U.S. doesn’t have a federal database of COVID-19 vaccination records, posing issues for businesses and schools alike that can’t cross-check vaccine cards against a central repository.
Nametag released its free COVID Proof app earlier this year for individuals, allowing consumers to upload their ID and vaccination cards for easy compliance with indoor vaccination mandates at restaurants and other businesses.