On November 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Interim Final Rule requiring direct care workers in Medicare and Medicaid certified health care settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Top 6 Things you need to know:
- December 6th, 2021 First Dose
Staff at these health care facilities must receive the first dose of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December 6, 2021. All eligible staff must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.
- Vaccination Policy
Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services by December 6, 2021.
- January 4th, 2022 Fully Vaccinated
All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. The regulation also provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. Facilities must develop a similar process or plan for permitting exemptions in alignment with federal law. (I see there is not a weekly testing option for covered health care employees …)
CMS will ensure compliance with these requirements through established survey and enforcement processes. If a provider or supplier does not meet the requirements, it will be cited by a surveyor as being non-compliance and have an opportunity to return to compliance before additional actions occur.
Applies to 16 Medicare and Medicaid provider types, not Physician offices.
- Ambulatory Surgical Centers,
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Hospitals,
- Long-Term Care facilities.
- Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities,
- Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities.
- Home Health Agencies.
- Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities,
- Critical Access Hospitals,
- Rehabilitation agencies, and
- Public health agencies as providers of outpatient Physical Therapy and
- Speech-Language Pathology services.
- Community Mental Health Centers,
- Home Infusion Therapy suppliers,
- Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers, and
- End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities.
- The OSHA ETS rule for companies with 100 or more employees:
- Deadline is January 4th for vaccination or workers must produce a negative COVID test at least once a week.
- Employers do not need to pay for testing.
- Workers must have time off to get vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated workers must wear masks.
- Religious and medical exemptions allowed.
Download CMS Omnibus Staff Vax Requirements - External FAQ (508 Compliant) Below
Download FINAL - Staff Vax National Stakeholder Slides (508 Compliant) Below
Download Vaccination Final Rule 11.5.2021 Below
Download Vaccine Mandate P and P template 11.6.2021Below