The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on January 13, 2022, affecting staff of U.S. nursing homes and federally funded healthcare facilities. The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation requires all current and future healthcare workers at covered facilities to receive their vaccines or approval for medical or religious exemption by February 28, 2022. Facilities with less than 100% vaccination coverage risk termination from the Medicare or Medicare Medicaid programs under the CMS mandate, according to McKnights Long Term Care News.
This new regulation will protect nursing home staff, while also offering assurance to residents and their families. Many healthcare leaders faced unforeseen challenges when the vaccine became available, and some staff members refused the vaccine. Unvaccinated healthcare staff pose risks to the health and safety of residents as well as fellow healthcare workers. This mandate will help relieve the burden on healthcare leaders and allow them to dedicate their efforts where they are needed.
President and Founder of Achieve Accreditation Kathleen O’Connor requires both SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza vaccinations as a mandatory term of ongoing employment.
“We are a company that follows the science in demonstrating evidence-based decision making in all that we do,” Kathleen said. “Achieve Accreditation encourages providers to ask for documentation of third-party vaccination records as a part of your organization’s annual ongoing infection prevention and control risk assessment process. Organizations should not make the false assumption that all third-party companies are taking this same safeguard approach.”
With the emergence of the COVID-19 delta and omicron variants, this vaccine mandate is more important than ever. This new regulation is vital in upholding safety and quality care of residents and healthcare workers.
Jessica Prucha, BAJ is the Office Manager and Brand Storyteller at Achieve Accreditation. Achieve Accreditation has helped skilled nursing providers and assisted living organizations to obtain and maintain their Joint Commission Accreditation for over 30 years.