HCA pauses vaccination mandate in 18 states

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare is pausing its COVID-19 vaccination mandate amid recent federal court decisions, except for states in which it operates that have their own mandates, according to a statement shared with Becker's.

HCA announced a mandate in November to comply with CMS requirements for healthcare workers.

Before CMS created a mandate, HCA had encouraged workers to get vaccinated and made shots readily available but had not mandated inoculation, the for-profit hospital operator said. 

HCA is now shifting gears after a federal judge in Missouri on Nov. 29 temporarily blocked CMS from enforcing its mandate in 10 states, and federal judges in Kentucky and Louisiana expanded that order nationwide Nov. 30. 

"Because recent federal court decisions have resulted in the CMS mandate being put on hold indefinitely, we have paused our vaccine requirement, except in states that have mandated vaccination," HCA's statement says. "We continue to strongly encourage our colleagues to be vaccinated as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus and the majority of HCA Healthcare colleagues have been fully vaccinated."

HCA operates in 20 states and is pausing its vaccination requirement in all states in which it operates except California and Colorado, which have their own mandates.

The CMS mandate requires eligible healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

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