CMS Issues Interim Final Rules Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 4 issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations of all eligible staff at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid. Stakeholders may submit comments on the rule through Jan. 4, 2022.

The interim final rule follows a September announcement that expanded an existing emergency regulation requiring vaccinations for nursing home staff to include hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and home health agencies, among other settings, as a condition for participation in Medicare and Medicaid.

Under the new interim final rule, facilities must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff receive the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 5 to provide any care, treatment or other services. All eligible staff must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The regulation provides exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances or practices. Facilities must develop a process to permit exemptions that aligns with federal law.

A related COVID-19 emergency temporary standard (ETS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also was released on Nov. 4, requiring employers with 100 or more employees to develop a policy of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or testing and face covering policy. Fact sheets and FAQs are available on the OHSA website.

Read the full CMS press release or view list of CMS FAQs on the interim final rule. Access vaccine resources for patients and clinicians at ACC's COVID-19 Hub.

Clinical Topics: COVID-19 Hub, Prevention

Keywords: Medicaid, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., COVID-19 Vaccines, Medicare, United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Ambulatory Surgical Procedures, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Nursing Homes, Vaccination, ACC Advocacy

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