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Emergency Regulation Requires COVID-19 Vaccination for Health Care Workers

Eligible staff at healthcare facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccination. That includes all Nexion Health facilities. The Biden-Harris administration issued an emergency regulation stating this requirement on Nov. 4.

Nexion Health will ensure that all eligible staff are fully vaccinated by the deadline, which is Jan. 4, 2022.

Here are excerpts from the announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

The Biden-Harris Administration is requiring COVID-19 vaccination of eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The emergency regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today protects those fighting this virus on the front lines while also delivering assurances to individuals and their families that they will be protected when seeking care.

“Ensuring patient safety and protection from COVID-19 has been the focus of our efforts in combatting the pandemic and the constantly evolving challenges we’re seeing,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Today’s action addresses the risk of unvaccinated health care staff to patient safety and provides stability and uniformity across the nation’s health care system to strengthen the health of people and the providers who care for them.”

The prevalence of COVID-19, in particular the Delta variant, within health care settings increases the risk of unvaccinated staff contracting the virus and transmitting the virus to patients. When health care staff cannot work because of illness or exposure to COVID-19, the strain on the health care system becomes more severe and further limits patient access to safe and essential care.

Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring 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 December 5, 2021. All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. The regulation also provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. Facilities must develop a similar process or plan for permitting exemptions in alignment with federal law.

The requirements apply to: Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Hospices, Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, Hospitals, Long Term Care facilities, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Home Health Agencies, Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, Critical Access HospitalsClinics (rehabilitation agencies, and public health agencies as providers of outpatient physical therapy and speech-language pathology services), Community Mental Health Centers, Home Infusion Therapy suppliers, Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers, and End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities.

You can read the full announcement on the CMS website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the administrator of your facility.

Categories: COVID-19