The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released regulations that will establish COVID-19 vaccination requirements for healthcare facilities and large workplaces. The Interim Final Rule and the related Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) will be published in the Federal Register on November 5 and will be effective immediately. Vaccinations will be required by January 4, 2022. Comments on the Final Rule are due by January 4, 2022.
The CMS rule applies to certain Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers who are regulated under specific health and safety standards known as Conditions of Participation. The OSHA rule applies to any employer with 100 or more employees.
O&P providers are not included in the list of facilities subject to the CMS rule, but facility compliance includes any entities that have access to their facility and patient populations, which would include O&P practitioners who provide services at hospitals and rehabilitation and long-term care facilities, for example.
“Ensuring patient safety and protection from COVID-19 has been the focus of our efforts in combatting the pandemic and the constantly evolving challenges we’re seeing,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Today’s action addresses the risk of unvaccinated healthcare staff to patient safety and provides stability and uniformity across the nation’s healthcare system to strengthen the health of people and the providers who care for them.”
To read the interim final rule with comment period, visit federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2021-23831/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-omnibus-covid-19-health-care-staff-vaccination.
To read a list of frequently asked questions, visit cms.gov/files/document/cms-omnibus-staff-vax-requirements-2021.docx.