CMS Issues Guidance on Omnibus COVID-19 Vaccination Rules

On December 28, 2022, CMS issued an interim rule on COVID-19 vaccination requirements for hospitals. The emergency regulation requires vaccinations for eligible staff at health care facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The implementation and enforcement of this regulation was enjoined in 25 states when the rule was released, and the rule applied to facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs in the remaining 25 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories.

Later, on January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the CMS rule. Several states have removed their appeal and allowed enforcement of the rule.

Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring that all eligible staff have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services by January 27, 2022, 30 days following the publication of the guidance.  All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine – by February 28, 2022, which is 60 days after the publication of the guidance.

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