News

CMS Expands Vaccine Requirements for LTC Facilities

CMS released an interim final rule that established new COVID-19 vaccination requirements in long-term care facilities operating in coordination with Medicare and Medicaid programs. While the interim final rule is effective upon publication, CMS is actively seeking comments for the next 60 days from public stakeholders on the proposed vaccine education, access and reporting requirements.

Throughout the pandemic, older adults and individuals with disabilities living in congregate settings experienced the highest rates of infection and comprised nearly one-third of all COVID-19 deaths in this country.
 
To support the Biden Administration's commitment to equitable vaccine access, CMS introduced a new rule this week building upon previous COVID-19 vaccination requirements. The CMS interim final rule includes:
 
  • Requiring Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (IDF-IIDs) to educate residents, clients and staff about COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Requiring LTC facilities and IDF-IIDs to offer vaccinations to all residents, clients, and staff (when available); and
  • Requiring LTC facilities to report vaccination of residents and staff to the CDC's National Health Care Safety Network (NHSN) database.
In addition, the rule seeks public comment for future actions CMS could take to ensure the health and well-being of individuals living in congregate settings like assisted living and group homes funded through Medicaid HCBS.
 
Learn more about CMS's new COVID-19 vaccine rule on CMS's website.
 
Comments are due June 14. Instructions for how to submit comments can be found in the Federal Register notice. If your agency submits comments, please send a copy to policy@n4a.org if possible.

Contributors