Healthcare CMS Vaccine Mandate Revived in 26 States
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- As we have reported on previously, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a rule (“CMS Rule”) requiring Medicare – and Medicaid – certified healthcare providers and suppliers to have all employees fully vaccinated.
- In November, 2 federal district court rulings blocked the CMS Rule nationwide. However, a federal appellate court ruling issued on December 15 held that a nationwide block was not warranted; as such, the CMS rule is now only blocked in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- The major question on everyone’s mind is enforcement. On December 2, after the federal district courts made their initial rulings, CMS released guidance to state surveyors instructing the surveyors that they must not survey providers for compliance with the CMS Rule. Now that the vaccination mandate is back “on” in 26 states, we are awaiting guidance from CMS on when enforcement in the non-enjoined states will start back up—if at all. But a reasonable interpretation of CMS’s December 2 instructions is that there should be no survey activity (even in states where the injunction is lifted) until after receipt of further guidance from CMS.
We will continually monitor developments as to the progress of future legal challenges and provide updates if the CMS Rule becomes enforceable.
SESCO Management Consultants will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s COVID-19 Resource Center as additional information becomes available.
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