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CMS Relaxes Enforcement of Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Mandate

November 01, 2022

Despite noting its success, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on October 26, 2022 that it was relaxing enforcement practices regarding its mandate that all nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19.  The updated guidance noted that because COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths were down across the country, it was relaxing the enforcement penalties when nursing homes do not meet the vaccination requirements. Facilities that do not comply with the mandate will be cited at Level 1 noncompliance, essentially the lowest level of violation. Additionally, facilities that do not meet the mandate could be able to avoid any citation by showing they are attempting to meet the mandate requirements.
Consumer Voice strongly supported the implementation of the vaccine mandate for staff. Due to industry wide failures in infection control, vaccines have proven to be the most effective protection from COVID-19 for nursing home residents. The decrease in deaths from COVID-19 was evidence of the efficacy of the vaccine mandate in nursing homes, not a signal to CMS to decrease resident protections. Consumer Voice strongly opposes the revisions to the guidance and believes the guidance is a step in the wrong direction.

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