Capitol Correspondence - 11.04.21

Biden Administration Publishes OSHA and CMS Regulations Mandating Vaccinations for Workers

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On Thursday, the Biden Administration announced two new rules to require COVID-19 vaccinations for millions of American workers.  

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an interim final rule requiring employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. Employers have up to 30 days to comply with the rule’s requirements for establishing mandatory vaccination policies and up to 60 days to comply with the rule’s testing requirements. By January 4, 2022 employees will be required to furnish evidence of full vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis and wear face coverings.

For more about the OSHA rule, see the OSHA FAQ and OSHA press release.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services also published its interim final rule requiring health care workers at facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated. By December 5, 2021, all covered facilities must ensure that every eligible staff member has received a first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services.  By January 4, 2022, all covered facilities must ensure that all eligible staff are fully vaccinated.

The CMS rule applies to Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities but does not cover providers of Medicaid Home and Community Based Services. OSHA has clarified that it will not apply its new rule to workplaces covered by the CMS rule.

For more about the CMS rule, see the CMS FAQ and CMS press release.