On Sept. 9, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that an emergency regulation requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers is being expanded to include hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies, among others. This follows an announcement in August that nursing homes would be required to ensure all nursing home staff are vaccinated for COVID-19, and subsequent feedback from the nursing home industry raising concerns about the plan not including other health care providers.

CMS is developing an interim final rule with a comment period that will be issued in October. When the rule goes into effect, the requirement will apply to hospitals and other facilities and settings that participate in Medicare and Medicaid as a condition of participating in Medicare and Medicaid. CMS is urging facilities to use resources to support employee vaccinations, including employee education and clinics, as facilities work to meet this and other new federal requirements.

In addition to executive orders requiring all federal workers and federal contractors to be vaccinated, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is developing a rule requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or are tested on a weekly basis.