CMS Issues Emergency Rule Requiring COVID-19 Vaccines for Healthcare Providers by January 4, 2022

November 4, 2021

The government is forcing the hand of healthcare providers who have dragged their feet on enacting COVID-19 vaccine requirements.  Today, November 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a Rule requiring healthcare providers that participate in Medicare and Medicaid require their workers to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.  Providers must enact a vaccination policy for their workers by December 5, 2021.  Exemptions based on certain medical conditions or religious beliefs will be available. 

The interim final rule is excepted to be published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021, but a PDF copy can be found here: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-23831.pdf.

CMS will advise and train state surveyors on how to assess compliance with these new requirements.  This will include staff interviews, review of policies and procedures and how to cite for noncompliance.  Potential penalties could include civil money penalties, denial of payment for new admissions, or termination of the Medicare/Medicaid provider agreement.

If you are a medical provider looking for assistance implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy, please contact Danielle Dietrich at 412-227-0284 or ddietrich@smgglaw.com.