U.S. Supreme Court Dissolves Injunction of CMS Vaccine Rule

Vaccine Updates/Return to Work

On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 vote, granted the government’s request to overturn the injunction on The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) interim final rule requiring vaccinations of employees at certain Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities. Federal courts had enjoined the rule in 26 states, while the remaining states were subject to enforcement as of January 27, 2022. CMS issued guidance on the Interim Final Rule (IFR) on December 28, 2021, mandating the vaccine in health care settings in those states not covered by the injunction.

As a result of the Court’s ruling, Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities must comply with the vaccine mandate. CMS issued another QSO memo setting forth deadlines for 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. The current deadlines outlined in the CMS guidance requires compliance with Phase 1 of having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, February 14, 2022, and completion of a primary vaccine series (one shot of a single dose vaccine or last shot of a multi-dose vaccine) by March 15, 2022. The federal courts of appeal will now take up the matter on the merits but enforcement is not stayed in the meantime.

The guidance on enforcing the CMS vaccine mandate can be found here and here.

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