OSHA and HHS Issue Rules Related to Vaccine Mandates | News | APMA
OSHA and HHS Issue Rules Related to Vaccine Mandates

November 8, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine

Last week, the Biden administration released two rules related to mandatory vaccination against COVID-19: A CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule with Comment Period, and an OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing.

CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule with Comment Period

  • A CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule with Comment Period—This interim final rule with comment period revises the requirements that most Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. CMS states that changes are necessary to help protect the health and safety of residents, clients, patients, PACE participants, and staff, and reflect lessons learned to date as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The revisions to the requirements establish COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff at the included Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers.

We encourage members to review all FAQs thoroughly, but APMA notes two relevant questions:

Q: To which provider and supplier types does this apply?
A: The staff vaccination requirement applies to the following Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider and supplier types: Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Community Mental Health Centers, Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, Critical Access Hospitals, End-Stage Renal 2 Disease Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Home Infusion Therapy Suppliers, Hospices, Hospitals, Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Clinics, Rehabilitation Agencies, and Public Health Agencies as Providers of Outpatient Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology Services, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Organizations (PACE), Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers, and Long Term Care facilities.

Q: Would a physician with admitting privileges in a hospital be covered under this requirement?
A: Yes, a physician admitting and/or treating patients in-person within a facility subject to the CMS health and safety regulations and included as a part of this requirement must be vaccinated so that the facility is compliant.

OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

  • An OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing—The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is issuing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) with the goal of protecting unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 by strongly encouraging vaccination. Covered employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead adopt a policy requiring employees to either get vaccinated or elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work in lieu of vaccination.

Important note: Over the weekend, and as of the drafting of this article on Monday, November 8, the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of this rule. The administration must provide an expedited reply to the motion for a permanent injunction Monday, followed by petitioners' reply on Tuesday.

APMA is in the process of reviewing both rules and will provide members with more information in the coming days. Watch the APMA Weekly Focus for more news.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, email the APMA Health Policy and Practice department at healthpolicy.hpp@apma.org.


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