January 19, 2022
CMS Issues New Deadlines for States Previously Covered by Preliminary Injunctions
Following the US Supreme Court’s opinion on January 13 allowing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to move forward with its healthcare worker vaccination mandate while the cases of Biden v. Missouri and Becerra v. Louisiana continue to move through appellate courts, CMS issued new guidance regarding the implementation of the mandate for facilities in the 24 states previously covered by a preliminary injunction.
CMS now has two separate sets of compliance deadlines and may issue a third for facilities located in Texas once the state’s preliminary injunction is lifted by the courts.
CMS guidance prescribes a two-phase implementation process, with enforcement actions against facilities not in compliance allowed to begin on a specified date following Phase 2 implementation:
- Phase 1:
- Policies and procedures are developed and implemented for ensuring all facility staff, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient or resident contact, are vaccinated for COVID-19.
- 100 percent of staff have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or have a pending request for or have been granted a qualifying exemption, or identified as having a temporary delay as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Phase 2: 100 percent of staff have received the necessary doses to complete the vaccine series (i.e., one dose of a single-dose vaccine or all doses of a multiple-dose vaccine series) or have been granted a qualifying exemption or identified as having a temporary delay as recommended by the CDC.
Under the January 14 guidance, facilities located in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming must meet the following deadlines:
- Phase 1: February 14, 2022
- Phase 2: March 15, 2022
- Enforcement: April 14, 2022
Under the December 28 guidance, facilities located in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Washington, DC, and US territories must meet the following deadlines:
- Phase 1: January 27, 2022
- Phase 2: February 28, 2022
- Enforcement: March 28, 2022
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Stephen Abresch.