CMS Requires COVID-19 Vaccination For All Staff in Medicare, Medicaid Facilities

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Sept. 9 announced that all staff in facilities that are certified by Medicare and Medicaid will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to protect both staff and patients from the virus. CMS in October is expected to issue an interim final rule on the requirement that will include a comment period.

The announcement expands 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.

The new requirement is based on continued spread of COVID-19 in health care settings, especially in areas of the U.S. with higher incidence of the virus. Nursing homes with an overall staff vaccination rate of 75% or lower experience higher rates of COVID-19 infection. In a review of available data, CMS has noted lower rates of vaccination among staff at hospitals and dialysis facilities and is establishing the vaccine requirement to increase vaccination rates and reduce infection.

CMS will work with Medicare- and Medicaid-certified facilities to ensure new requirements are met. The agency urged facilities to use available resources, including employee education and clinics, to encourage vaccination among employees who are not currently vaccinated.

Read the full CMS press release, and access vaccine resources for patients and clinicians at ACC’s COVID-19 Hub.

Clinical Topics: Prevention

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, SARS-CoV-2, Renal Dialysis, Delivery of Health Care, Workforce, Hospitals, Health Personnel, Vaccines, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Vaccination, Nursing Homes, Medicare, COVID-19, Medicaid, Home Care Agencies, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., COVID-19 Vaccines

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