Commenting on a forthcoming Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings receiving Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, AHA today urged the agency to include appropriate safeguards to preserve access to care in all communities; provide clear information about how hospitals can demonstrate compliance and how CMS will conduct enforcement; and minimize the potential for misalignment and duplication with existing federal vaccine-related policies.

“The AHA has repeatedly urged the vaccination of all health care workers, and has supported hospitals and health systems that choose to mandate vaccination,” AHA wrote. “In fact, as of the date of this letter, 2,549 hospitals and health systems have publicly announced their own mandatory vaccination policies. However, these mandate decisions were informed by hospitals’ evaluation of the local circumstances in their own facilities and communities. … In implementing a national regulatory mandate for health care facilities to vaccinate their personnel, CMS should ensure its policy is feasible, transparent and fair for all health care providers that are subject to it. In addition, it is vital that CMS issue the [interim final rule] and associated interpretive guidance as expeditiously as possible to help create stability for the health care field.”

 

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