December 22, 2021
CMS Allowed to Implement Vaccination Mandate in Half of States
On December 15, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order reviving the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) healthcare worker COVID-19 vaccination mandate in half of the states. The order is in response to a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on November 30 in a case against the mandate brought by 14 states (Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia).
The order leaves in place the preliminary injunction in the 14 plaintiff states, along with another preliminary injunction issued on November 29 in 10 states (Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming). In a separate lawsuit, Texas secured its own preliminary injunction against the CMS vaccination mandate on December 15. Under the order from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, CMS now may restart implementation of the mandate in 25 states.
CMS issued a memo on December 2 announcing that due to the nationwide preliminary injunction, it had “suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of this rule pending future developments in the litigation.” It is unclear at this time how CMS will respond to the partial stay issued against the nationwide preliminary injunction. ASCA is watching this situation closely and will provide updates as developments occur.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Stephen Abresch.