The overall will protect patients of the 50,000 providers and over 17 million health care workers in Medicare and Medicaid certified facilities for COVID-19 Vaccines.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced that emergency regulations requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers will be expanded to include,
- Dialysis facilities,
- Ambulatory surgical settings,
- Home health agencies.
Nursing homes with an overall staff vaccination rate of 75% or lower experience higher rates of preventable COVID infection.
In CMS’s review of available data, the agency is seeing lower staff vaccination rates among hospital and End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) facilities.
To combat this issue, CMS is using its authority to establish vaccine requirements for all providers and suppliers that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Vaccinations have proven to reduce the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 and are effective against the Delta variant.
CMS is developing an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period that will be issued in October.
CMS expects certified Medicare and Medicaid facilities to act in the best interest of patients and staff by complying with new COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
Health care workers employed in these facilities who are not currently vaccinated are urged to begin the process immediately.
Facilities are urged to use all available resources to support employee vaccinations, including employee education and clinics, as they work to meet new federal requirements.