CMS updates nursing home staff vaccination requirements

CMS has updated its nursing home staff vaccination requirements to 100 percent in order to be compliant.

According to an agency memo released Oct. 26, all staff of Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers must receive the appropriate number of doses of a COVID vaccine unless exempt as required by law or delayed as recommended by the CDC.

Facilities who fail to have a 100 percent staff vaccination rate will be deemed noncompliant under the new rule. Noncompliant facilities may be subject to financial penalties or possible termination if they remain noncompliant. However, "noncompliance does not necessarily lead to termination, and facilities will generally be given opportunities to return to compliance. For example, a facility that is noncompliant and has implemented a plan to achieve a 100% staff vaccination rate would not be subject to an enforcement action," CMS said.

State agencies and accrediting organizations will be expected to perform compliance reviews only as part of the initial certification, standard recertification or reaccreditation surveys.

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