On November 4, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued an emergency regulation requiring many health care workers to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022. The vaccination requirement applies to all staff working at a covered facility. Unlike the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s new vaccination rule, which the CMS rules preempts, there is no testing alternative for unvaccinated workers. The rule only recognizes exemptions for medical or religious reasons.
The staff vaccination requirement specifically applies to the following Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider and supplier types: mental health centers, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, critical access hospitals, end-stage renal disease facilities, home health agencies, home infusion therapy suppliers, hospices, hospitals, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, clinics, rehabilitation agencies, public health agencies as providers of outpatient physical therapy and speech-language pathology services, psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs), programs for all-inclusive care for the elderly organizations (PACE), rural health clinics/federally qualified health centers, and long term care facilities.
The regulation does not apply to assisted living facilities, group homes, or physician offices. For more details, register for our webinar at the top of this newsletter.