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Capitol Correspondence - 01.18.22

CMS Issues Updated Guidance on Vaccine Rule After Supreme Court Decision

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Following the Supreme Court decision allowing the government to enforce the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Rule, CMS posted new guidance for State Survey Agency Directors specifically applying to states no longer under a preliminary injunction: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. (Texas is not included in this list and is still under a preliminary injunction imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.)

This guidance creates separate timelines for surveyors in the states listed above. It instructs discretion for Phase 1 based 30 days from the date of the memo and 60 days from the date of the memo for Phase 2. This does not affect the compliance deadlines of January 27 and February 28 for providers in the District of Columbia, the territories, and the 25 states where the preliminary injunction was previously lifted.