The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings, including hospitals and health systems, that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The rule is effective Nov. 5. Under the regulation, all eligible workers must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022.
Also this morning, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued an emergency temporary standard requiring all employees at private businesses with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or get tested for COVID-19 weekly.
In a statement shared with the media Nov. 4, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack said, ”Today’s vaccine mandate regulations set clear expectations, and streamline and simplify compliance requirements for health care providers. Importantly, they clarify that hospitals will need to comply with only the CMS rule, eliminating unnecessary complexity in implementing vaccine mandates. Additionally, we welcome that the CMS regulation provides time to come into compliance, offers guidance on medical and religious exemptions, clarifies interactions with state and local laws, and provides a level playing field across health care facilities. AHA has been supportive of hospitals that call for mandated vaccination of health care workers in order to better protect patients and the communities we serve. We will further review today’s regulations and assist our members in coming into compliance.”