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01/14/2022

CMS releases guidance for vaccine mandate for 25 states

CMS releases guidance for
vaccine mandate for 25 states

This afternoon, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the anticipated QSO memo outlining timeframes for compliance with the vaccine mandate for all health care personnel. The QSO comes on the heels of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to allow the CMS interim final rule (IFR) to go forward for states, including Ohio, that had previously been under the injunction issued by Missouri courts.

To comply, within 30 days of the effective date of the memo a provider will need to demonstrate that:

  • Policies and procedures are developed and implemented for ensuring all facility staff, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient or resident contact are vaccinated for COVID-19; and
  • 100% of staff have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or have a pending request for, or have been granted qualifying exemption, or identified as having a temporary delay as recommended by the CDC.

Within 60 days, providers will need to demonstrate:

  • Policies and procedures are developed and implemented for ensuring all facility staff, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient or resident contact are vaccinated for COVID-19; and
  • 100% of staff have received the necessary doses to complete the vaccine series (i.e., one dose of a single-dose vaccine or all doses of a multiple-dose vaccine series), or have been granted a qualifying exemption, or identified as having a temporary delay as recommended by the CDC.

Providers, state await PHE extension

Heading into the long weekend, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has yet to officially extend the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), which is tied to a number of regulatory flexibilities and waivers, including waiver of the 3-day hospital stay and training requirements for nurse aides, as well as continuous enrollment requirements for state Medicaid programs. The current PHE is set to expire this weekend, and while there has been no indication nor preparation for an end of the PHE, it is nonetheless concerning to have the renewal so close to the expiration date. It is highly likely that the PHE will be renewed later tonight or even tomorrow, offering much-needed relief to providers.

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