November 18, 2021 –
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Division of Tribal Affairs, in collaboration with the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ), will host an All Tribes Call on the Interim Final Rule (IFC) requiring COVID-19 vaccination of eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Background: On November 4, CMS published an IFC with comment period (CMS-3415-IFC) requiring COVID-19 vaccination of eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. The IFC aims to protect those fighting this virus on the front lines while also assuring individuals and their families that they will be protected when seeking care. For more information about the IFC, please see the press release.
A complete list of Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers is described in the IFC. It includes hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, critical access hospitals, clinics, and federally qualified health centers. Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received:
- the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December 5, 2021, and the second dose by January 4, 2022, OR
- the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine by December 5, 2021
The regulation also provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. Facilities must develop a similar process or plan for permitting exemptions in alignment with federal law.
The purpose of this All Tribes Call is for CCSQ staff to provide an overview of the IFC and to answer any questions that Tribes might have. Please remember that, for comments to be considered, written comments must be submitted pursuant to the requirements published in the IFC.