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Healthcare workers will need to get vaccinated if receiving federal funds.

Posted by Doris Dike | Jan 21, 2022 | 0 Comments

In a 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court, the justices lifted the lower court injunctions that blocked enforcement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Interim Final Ruling requiring healthcare worker vaccinations (CMS Rule).

The CMS Rule requires :

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation clinics, and many other facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds

  • To all current and future employees at “covered facilities”, regardless of “whether the employee holds a clinical or non-clinical position and reaches anyone who provides treatment or services to the facility under contract or other arrangements.”

  • Employers covered by the CMS Rule must now take steps to comply with its mandates. Specifically, under the current updated deadlines provided by CMS guidance issued to State Survey Agency Directors, all facilities covered by the CMS Rule must, by January 27, 2022:

    •  Require that 100% of covered staff receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, except those with a pending exemption request and those whose vaccination was temporarily delayed per CDC recommendations. CMS has announced it will exercise some discretion in enforcing this deadline. Namely, if a facility can show it has more than 80% staff vaccination by January 27 and a plan to achieve 100% vaccination within 60 days, it will be exempted from enforcement actions.

    • Enact policies and procedures to comply with the CMS Rule.Then, by February 28, 2022, covered facilities must ensure that 100% of covered staff are fully vaccinated, except those with a granted exemption request and those having a temporary delay in receiving the vaccination. Again, though, there is some enforcement discretion. A facility with a more than 90% vaccination rate and a plan to achieve a 100% staff vaccination rate within 30 days of February 28 will be exempted from enforcement actions.

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