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Capitol Correspondence - 02.01.22

CMS Issues New Guidance Requiring Vaccination of Surveyors Conducting Onsite Surveys

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On January 25, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance for State Survey Agencies and Accrediting Organizations requiring surveyors conducting onsite surveys to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The guidance is effective 30 days from the date of publication.

The new CMS guidance states that surveyors who are not fully vaccinated (unless they have an approved exemption) may not participate as part of the onsite survey team performing federal oversight of certified providers and suppliers. The guidance makes clear, however, that because State Survey Agencies are solely responsible for compliance, providers are not permitted to ask surveyors for proof of their vaccination status as a precondition for entry.