Federal Vaccine Mandates Update – How is your practice impacted?
The US Supreme Court has announced it will hear arguments on Friday, January 7, on whether two separately-issued vaccine mandates may go into effect. One is the CMS mandate that applies to staff working at CMS-certified facilities such as hospitals, and the other is the OSHA vaccine and testing mandate that applies to all employers with more than 100 employees.
The Court will consider whether both rules can be prevented from going into effect because the government did not have the authority to issue the rules, or improperly issued the rules. Either way, the cases will likely return to the lower courts for further decisions. In the meantime, here is the current agency guidance on how they are implementing the rules.
CMS Rule Implementation
CMS Issued an Interim Final rule, effective November 5, 2021, mandating vaccinations of staff members at almost all CMS-certified facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Notably, physician offices are not facilities that must comply. However, physicians and other personnel who serve as staff members at certified facilities must be vaccinated.
Because of the legal challenges in certain federal court jurisdictions, the enforcement of the CMS vaccine mandate is enjoined in 25 states, including Ohio. Thus, Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers in Ohio are not now required to comply with the CMS staff vaccine mandate, pending the US Supreme Court decision.
CMS Health Care Staff Vaccine Guidance
(document updated as of 12/28/2021)
OSHA Rule Implementation
OSHA is proceeding to implement its vaccination or testing standard that applies to all employers with 100 or more employees, including healthcare providers, after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay preventing enforcement. That decision was appealed to the Supreme Court. The compliance deadline for the OSHA ETS is January 10, 2022 and healthcare providers should proceed with plans to implement the standard but should be aware that OSHA’s ability to enforce the standard also could change pending the US Supreme Court’s decision concerning the appeal.
View OSHA's Fact Sheet on Vaccination and Testing at:
View OSHA’s Mandatory Vaccination Policy Template at: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2
OSHA’s Healthcare Standard
Physicians should not forget that compliance with OSHA’s healthcare standard that addresses COVID-19 workplace safety protocols may apply to your workplace.
Review the requirements and OSHA’s updated statement at:
OSMA will send out an update as soon as the Supreme Court decision is made public. Should you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.