CMS to Develop Regulations Requiring Nursing Home Staff Vaccinations – On August 18, 2021, President Biden announced that CMS would develop an emergency regulation to require nursing home staff vaccinations. This announcement comes after months of incentives and giveaways to increase the nation’s overall vaccination rate. The administration signaled that compliance with the forthcoming regulation will be a condition for those facilities to continue receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding. More than 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid-participating nursing homes and as many as 1.3 million staff members could be affected.
CMS cited the rise in the COVID-19 Delta variant as one of the reasons for the development of the regulation. In its recent August 18, 2021 announcement, CMS restated its view that implementing this regulation falls within CMS’s authority to establish requirements to ensure the health and safety of individuals receiving care from Medicare and Medicaid providers. This announcement follows on the heels of CMS-issued regulations for types of intermediate and long-term care facilities and residential facilities to educate and offer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents, clients, and staff, and to report weekly COVID-19 vaccination status data for both residents and staff.
This proposed emergency regulation appears to be part of the administration’s broader effort to use regulatory mandates to increase vaccination rates among government workers. Three weeks ago, the administration required that federal workers must either satisfactorily prove their vaccination status or, alternatively, comply with onerous requirements such as mandatory masking, weekly testing, and physical distancing. The administration has indicated that it will also require military personnel to be vaccinated by mid-September.
The CMS press release announcing the forthcoming nursing home vaccine regulations can be found here.
Reporter, Jasmine Becerra, Atlanta, +1 404 572 3537, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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