Ask ECRI: Providers Who Sign Fraudulent COVID-19 Vaccine Waivers
September 29, 2021 | Health System Risk Management
A member recently asked us about legal and liability issues that may arise if a provider signs a COVID-19 vaccine waiver for someone (e.g., a friend or neighbor) who is not their patient. In this scenario, a provider signs a waiver for someone who does not want to get the COVID-19 vaccine but whose employer requires them to either get the vaccine or submit a vaccine waiver signed by a healthcare provider.
This scenario raises serious legal and liability concerns. Presumably, the person making the request is asking the provider to sign the waiver because they do not have contraindications to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine—which is why they are not asking their own healthcare provider to sign the waiver. The provider would be committing blatant fraud if they signed a waiver attesting to something that is not true—for instance, if the waiver states that the provider has assessed or examined the individual when they have not, or states that the provider is the individual's healthcare provider when they are not. Even if the waiver does not state such things, it might still be considered fraud for a provider to sign a COVID-19 vaccine waiver if doing so suggests, under...