Announcement Part 1
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement.
According to the CMS.gov website, “The Biden-Harris Administration will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to protect both them and patients from the virus and its more contagious Delta variant.”
Click here to link to CMS.gov to review a more detailed list of the facilities under this announcement.
CMS is developing an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period that will be issued in October.
“CMS expects certified Medicare and Medicaid facilities to act in the best interest of patients and staff by complying with new COVID-19 vaccination requirements. Health care workers employed in these facilities who are not currently vaccinated are urged to begin the process immediately. Facilities are urged to use all available resources to support employee vaccinations, including employee education and clinics, as they work to meet new federal requirements.”
Until CMS issues their Interim Final Rule in October, this is all we know. For example, we do not know if this requires any employee to be let go who is not vaccinated.
While it is prudent to announce this upcoming new requirement to your staff, if this rule will be applicable to you, and begin preparing for it, we do not advise terminating any staff. Educate your employees, encourage and/or incentivize the vaccine, and do what you can to get as many of your staff vaccinated, and once the Rule is issued, we’ll know more what to do for those who remain unvaccinated.