Biden Mandates COVID Vaccine in Nursing Homes

Yesterday, August 18, 2021 the Biden administration announced the requirement of COVID-19 vaccinations for Long-Term Care Workers who serve Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. CMS issued a press release, and the White House shared a fact sheet along with this announcement. 

Here is what we know:
  • For now, this applies only to nursing facilities and no other health care providers. 
  • The mandate would not include private pay assisted living and probably will not include assisted living providers that participate in the Medicaid program.
  • CMS intends to issue a rule in “late September” but as we've learned, timelines can change.
  • CMS indicated to Mark Parkinson, President of AHCA that there is also an intent to link the program with a booster plan for residents so that vaccine clinics could be scheduled in buildings through your long term pharmacy provider or immunization partner to provide residents with their booster vaccine and also provide vaccine hesitant staff with their first dose.
  • The regulation has not yet been issued and is currently being written.
As CMS works on the details for this action, AHCA/NCAL will work very hard to make sure that all sectors of health care providers, and not just nursing homes or the long term care sector, must comply. Otherwise, we will be making a difficult staffing shortage even worse.

In the meantime, we encourage you to attend a
special webinar that we were already planning and have scheduled for 3pm (eastern) tomorrow afternoon about best practices for implementing vaccine mandates. Representatives from three companies that have adopted staff vaccine mandates will discuss their experiences and lessons learned. If you are unable to attend, a recording will be available soon after the event. 

As we get more information on the specifics of this policy, we will pass them on to you.

We know how difficult this is for all of you. We care deeply for our members and the work you do. MHCA is here and will continue to advocate at the state and federal level for policies that work to support you and your staff. 

If there are resources that will help, documents that could be created, researched or finessed please reach out to us and we will do our best to develop what you need to help you in this process. 

As always, Thank you for ALL YOU DO.

Staff Contact: