CMS Suspends Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Staff
By: Emily H. Lineweaver
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on December 2, 2021 that “it has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement” of its Interim Final Rule (IFR) requiring health care staff in Medicare-and Medicaid-certified facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022, a rule that we previously reported on. This is in response to both the 10-state preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the nationwide preliminary injunction for the remaining 40 states issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana that we previously reported halted the enforcement of the IFR. Although CMS remains confident in its authority to issue and enforce the IFR, it has suspended implementation and enforcement “pending future developments in the litigation.” CMS directed surveyors not to survey providers for compliance with the IFR, but said facilities could voluntarily comply if they wanted to.