The Supreme Court may decide soon on a challenge to the CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule.
Currently enjoined by lower courts in 25 states, CMS announced late last month that it expects providers in all other states to comply with the first phase of the rule by Jan. 27, 2022, including the implementation of facility-level policies around vaccine mandate compliance and a first dose administered for all eligible employees.
In oral arguments Jan. 7, 2022, the court suggested there may be support for the CMS rule, while casting doubt about a vaccine rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for large employers not covered by the CMS rule, according to The New York Times.
We’ll have more on the vaccination mandate in upcoming issues of Home Health Line.
In a memorandum to surveyors Dec. 28, 2021, CMS noted Medicare and Medicaid certified facilities that are not compliant with the updated timeline should “generally be given opportunities to return to compliance.” The memorandum includes thresholds for determining compliance for each phase.
There are 25 states where the policy will not be enforced pending further court action, including 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, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.