The Supreme Court Approves the Vaccine Mandates for Healthcare Facilities That Receive Medicaid and Medicare Reimbursements! What’s Next For These Employers and Employees!
The Supreme Court determined that the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Service (CMS) had the statutory authority to impose the vaccination rule in an effort to ensure that the healthcare providers who care for Medicare and Medicaid patients protect their patients’ health and safety. The Court also rejected the procedural challenges to CMS’ adoption of the rule. Enforcement on Phase 1 of the vaccination rule’s implementation is now slated to begin Jan. 27, 2022, with all staff to be vaccinated thereafter, although CMS is expected to issue updated guidance and could extend the current deadlines.
In the CMS case, the Supreme Court explained that the federal government has the authority to impose conditions in connection with funding for public programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. The Court noted that longstanding health and safety conditions of participation and other standards set by CMS regularly impose requirements on providers and suppliers as a condition to receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. The Supreme Court noted that the “vaccine mandate goes further than what [CMS] has done in the past to implement infection control” but CMS “has never had to address an infection problem of this scale and scope before.”
Providers and suppliers enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid should determine if CMS’ vaccination rule applies to them. The rule only applies to 15 provider and supplier facility categories with health and safety conditions of participation (or similar requirements)
The Court’s opinion means that, in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding, participating facilities covered by the interim rule must ensure that their staff, unless an exemption has been both requested, and approved for medical or sincerely held religious reasons, must receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The injunctions previously in place covering 25 states are now lifted. While the Court’s ruling only addresses the injunctions and not the actual merits of the challenges to the mandate itself, the opinion makes abundantly clear that the Court views the mandate as statutorily lawful.
Some Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers with high vaccination rates may welcome the ruling as an incentive for the remaining staff to become vaccinated. However, entities with low vaccination rates are likely worried that the mandate will cause holdouts to resign – leaving insufficient numbers of staff to continue normal operations.
Why one should attend the training:
The health-care mandate, which applies to about 17 million workers, covers medical settings from doctors’ offices and dialysis centers to nursing homes and hospitals. Health-care employers covered by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services must begin complying by Jan. 27. By then, all health care staffs who do not qualify for a medical or religious exemption must have received at least one dose of a covid vaccine. Facilities with an 80% vaccination rate by that date can avoid penalties if they have a plan to achieve 100% within 60 days. By Feb. 28, health care staff must be fully vaccinated. HHS will begin enforcement on March 28.
Enforcement can include civil monetary penalties, denial of payments, and—as a final measure—termination of participation from the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
- Learn what Employers of these CMS require facilities to ensure compliance with this mandate.
- Learn how creating a Vaccine Mandate Policy will be critical to preparing employees for the vaccine mandate
- Learn what the deadlines are for healthcare employees to be vaccinated before enforcement kicks in
- Learn what the reasonable accommodations are allowed for vaccine exemptions and how the track these requests
- Learn how communication of these requirements are a key component to implementation
- Learn how patients can feel confident about the vaccine mandates to keep them safe
- What happens if healthcare workers refuse to get vaccinated?
- Some Employers believe that they will risk losing healthcare works who are opposed to the vaccine mandate as they see labor shortages
- Employers have to ensure they develop a policy for handling vaccine exemptions based on reasonable accommodations process.
- To prepare for the deadlines, Employers will need to survey their employees to assess who is not vaccinated to create a strategy that will focus on how they can get all employees vaccinated
- Employers should a training component for their managers and employees to ensure that they are all on the same page.
Who should attend:
- All Employers who receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid
- Healthcare Facilities
- Nursing Homes
- Company Leadership
- Compliance professionals
- HR Professionals