Many of our healthcare and business law firm’s clients have questions about whether CMS’ vaccine mandate (a.k.a. the “federal healthcare worker vaccine mandate”) applies to their workforce. The vaccine mandate landscape is evolving. For instance, the OSHA vaccine mandate applicable to 100+ employee-businesses was overruled by the Supreme Court. The analysis herein is current as of the date this blog is posted and subject to change as agencies and courts release new decisions.
If you have questions regarding this blog post or the applicability of state and federal regulations to you or your medical practice, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, email@example.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
The CMS Vaccine Mandate
CMS’ vaccine mandate requires all staff at Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider facilities, except for those with approved medical or religious exemptions, to be vaccinated. The mandate is still being tested in court however, the Supreme Court has preliminarily agreed with the federal government that the mandate is valid and has ruled that the mandate is in effect now, pending further litigation. As such, the CMS vaccine mandate is now active.
The mandate covers Medicaid-certified provider facilities. CMS guidance lists specific types of providers that are covered, as follows:
Q: To which provider and supplier types does this apply?
A: The staff vaccination requirement applies to the following Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider and supplier types: Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Community 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, and 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/Medicare Federally Qualified Health Centers, and Long Term Care facilities.
Timeline to Comply
The government has given 30 days (by February 13) for facilities to demonstrate that staff had their first vaccine doses and 60 days (by March 15) for facilities to demonstrate that staff are fully vaccinated in the 24 states subject to the injunctions lifted in the Supreme Court opinion. This extension applies only to the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. See CMS Guidance for the Interim Final Rule (Jan. 14, 2022).
If you have questions regarding this blog post or the applicability or the applicability of state and federal regulations to you or your medical practice, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.
*Disclaimer: Thoughts shared here do not constitute legal advice.