Harmony Healthcare International (HHI) Blog

COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Supreme Court Hearing

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vaccinemandate

On 1.7.2022, United States Supreme Court held a hearing on the:

Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers.
 

The two cases that the Court will hear oral arguments on are:

  • Becerra v. Louisiana (21-30734), and
  • Biden v. Missouri (21-3725)

For both cases, the federal courts issued their own injunctions to prevent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from implementing the mandate in a total of 24 states.

In other words, at this time, CMS cannot enforce the Vaccination Mandate in 24 states, but CMS can enforce the mandate in 26 states, see table below.

 

  • A Louisiana federal district court judge previously tried to expand the ban nationwide; however, on December 16, 2021, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the district court exceeded its authority and reversed that decision.

 

  • That reversal means that the mandate ban can now only apply to the 14 states named in the original Becerra v. Louisiana suit.  Those states include Louisiana, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

 

  • The Missouri federal court’s injunction preventing the mandate from being implemented covers an additional 10 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

 

  • The state of Florida also filed a separate lawsuit, and the Florida federal judge issued the only ruling out of the four total lawsuits filed allowing the mandate to remain in effect in Florida while the case plays out in court.

 

  • The state of Texas held an emergency hearing on January 7th, 2022, before the district court to consider Texas’s request for preliminary injunction.  Texas is no longer covered by the preliminary injunction entered in Louisiana. However, the district court handling Texas’s case will likely grant a preliminary injunction covering Texas.

 

Becerra v. Louisiana
(21-30734)
 
CMS Cannot Enforce
Biden v. Missouri
(21-3725)
 
CMS Cannot Enforce
Florida
 
 
CMS Can Enforce
Other
 
 
CMS Can Enforce
14 States
10 States
1 State
25 States

Louisiana,

Alabama,

Arizona,

Georgia,

Idaho,

Indiana,

Kentucky,

Mississippi,

Montana,

Oklahoma,

Ohio,

South Carolina,

Utah, and

West Virginia

Alaska,

Arkansas,

Kansas,

Iowa,

Missouri,

Nebraska,

New Hampshire,

North Dakota,

South Dakota, and

Wyoming

Florida

California,

Colorado,

Connecticut,

Delaware,

Hawaii,

Illinois,

Maine,

Maryland,

Massachusetts,

Michigan,

Minnesota,

Nevada,

New Jersey,

New Mexico,

New York,

North Carolina,

Oregon,

Pennsylvania,

Rhode Island,

Tennessee,

*Texas,

Vermont,

Virginia,

Washington, and

Wisconsin

* May be covered by a new preliminary injunction.
 
 

On December 28th, 2021, CMS further complicated matters:

 

By issuing additional guidance to surveyors stating CMS would:

 

  • Enforce the mandate in the states and territories where the policy has not been enjoined by the courts, creating an extremely confusing patchwork of state-by-state requirements.

  • Reversed course on the December 6th deadline for providers to receive their first dose and the January 4th deadline for providers to be fully vaccinated.

    • Require workers in states not affected by the lawsuits to receive their:
first shot by January 27th, 2022, which is the date CMS will begin surveying for compliance, and

second shot by February 28th, 2022.

 

  • Enforce facilities with staff vaccination rates below 100% will be considered non-compliant and could be:
• subject to fines,
• denial of payment,
• and/or termination.
• Offer opportunities for facilities to make corrections and come into compliance.

 

Results of the 1.7.2022 Supreme Court Hearing:

 

  • Supreme Court is not deciding whether the vaccine mandate is constitutional.
  • Supreme Court is deciding whether the mandate should remain in place while the cases play out in court.
  • Supreme Court justices will not make an immediate decision following oral arguments, and will, instead, take the matter to a conference at a later date where they will have a majority vote.
  • A final ruling will be issued at a later date.

Click Here to Download  CMS' Guidance Memo to State Survey Directors and CMS' Guidance for LTC and SNFs

 

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Topics: CMS, Regulatory Change, Regulatory, Vaccine


Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA

WRITTEN BY

Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA
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