[Updated] CMS Getting Closer to Vaccination Guidance for Home Health Agencies, Other Medicare-Medicaid Providers – Home Health Care News

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed last week that it was in the rulemaking stage of a collaboration with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on the establishment of a federal vaccine mandate.

Last Monday, Dr. Lee Fleisher, CMS’ chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ), confirmed that the agency is slated to release its guidelines in late October. Fleisher did so while appearing at the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care’s (NASL) annual meeting.

This means that Medicare-certified home health providers should expect CMS to release guidance any day now.

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“CMS will soon issue the emergency regulation requiring staff vaccinations within the nation’s more than 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid-participating nursing homes and Medicare and Medicaid-certified health care providers that are regulated under CMS regulations, but we cannot comment on the specifics of the pending regulations as we are in the active rulemaking process,” a CMS spokesperson told Home Health Care News in an email. “There will be a 60-day comment period that will begin when the regulation is published in the Federal Register for the public to share their feedback with CMS.”

The journey to a federal vaccine mandate officially began last month after President Joe Biden announced a six-pronged approach to his administration’s COVID-19 strategy, with plans explicitly mentioning home health providers. The approach also pushed for American workers to get vaccinated and called
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