Judge Halts Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Rule Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for Healthcare Workers
Judge Halts Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Rule Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination for Healthcare Workers

In early November the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would be requiring applicable healthcare facilities to have a policy in place ensuring that eligible staff receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine series by December 5, 2021 and to have completed the series by January 4, 2022. The failure to comply with the requirement would place an organization’s Medicare funding in jeopardy. On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, Judge Terry A. Doughty, a United States District Court Judge sitting in Louisiana, issued an injunction stopping enforcement of the mandate in all 50 states. In so doing, he determined that the CMS had exceeded its authority and that it did not have good cause to waive the required notice and comment period for new rules. In addition, Judge Doughty indicated that it was likely the mandate is contrary to law and both arbitrary and capricious. As a result of the injunction, employers wishing to implement a mandatory vaccine policy must rely on existing local, state and other federal law.    

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