CMS Requires Health Care Providers to be Vaccinated
On Nov. 4, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued rules requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers at facilities participating in Medicare — including hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The rules do not apply to physician offices (unless part of a larger system) because they are not subject to CMS health and safety regulations. The vaccination requirements apply to all eligible staff, both current and new, working at a facility regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact, including:
- Facility employees
- Licensed practitioners
- Contracted staff
Under the rules, covered facilities must have a process or plan for:
- Vaccinating all eligible staff;
- Providing exemptions and accommodations for those who are exempt; and
- Tracking and documenting staff vaccinations.
All eligible staff must receive their first dose or a one-dose vaccine by Dec. 5 and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022.