CMS Issues New Emergency Regulations for Healthcare Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new emergency regulations for healthcare facilities that accept Medicare/Medicaid. CMS published an interim final rule in the Federal Register which includes revised requirements to establish COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff at included providers and suppliers. Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received the first dose of a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a 1-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December 5, 2021. All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022. Facilities must also establish a plan for permitting exemptions, which are based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices, in alignment with federal law. See the interim final rule; see also FAQs; and the CMS press release.