On January 13, the US Supreme Court upheld a new Biden Administration vaccine mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and subject to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provider agreements for healthcare facilities. Compliance is required for all service providers in the 50 US states and the District of Columbia with no testing option.
What Is Required?
Facilities must have policies and procedures to comply with the new rule by January 27. The rule requires 100% of staff to have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose or have requested exemption by February 28.
Compliance surveys will begin on January 27 as CMS begins to enforce the rule. A facility will be noted as “non-compliant” if they fail to meet the new rule. However, any facility with a vaccination rate of at least 80% (first dose or exemption) and a plan to reach 100% will have a 60-day timeline to comply past January 27. After February 28, at least 90% of staff must have their first dose or exemption, and a 30-day timeline to abide by the rule will go into effect.
CMS issued specific guidelines for providers affected by the CMS Rule. A few, but not all, are listed below.