The Biden Administration has issued emergency rules through the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS) that will require health care workers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The new rules affect all eligible staff at health care facilities that participate in the Medicareand Medicaid programs, including long-term care facilities.
However, a federal judge in Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 against the vaccine mandate for health care workers. The judge said a higher court must decide if the executive branch has the power to order vaccination.
"If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency," wrote Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
The judge is concerned with seperation of powers.
"During a pandemic such as this one, it is even more important to safeguard the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution to avoid erosion of our liberties. Because the plaintiff States have satisfied all four elements required for a preliminary injunction to issue, this Court has determined that a preliminary injunction should issue against the Government Defendants," Doughty said.
The CMS says the new regulation will protect those fighting COVID-19 on the front lines while also delivering assurances to individuals and their families that they will be protected when seeking care.
Ensuring patient safety and protection from COVID-19 has been the focus of our efforts in combatting the pandemic and the constantly evolving challenges we’re seeing,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.
CMS says the impact of the COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant, increases the risk of unvaccinated staff contracting the virus and transmitting the virus to patients. Patients, especially in long-term care facilities, are at greater risk. Adults 60 and older and those with an underlying health condition or a compromised immune system are at greater risk when contracting the virus. They also have more complications and higher death rates.
Strain Being Placed on Health Care System
CMS says that when health care staff cannot work because of illness or exposure to COVID-19, the strain on the health care system becomes more severe and further limits patient access to safe and essential care.
In some places in the country, shortages of care providers make providing necessary long-term health care services more difficult and more costly.
“Today’s action addresses the risk of unvaccinated health care staff to patient safety and provides stability and uniformity across the nation’s health care system to strengthen the health of people and the providers who care for them,” Brooks-LaSure said.
These new regulations apply to approximately 76,000 providers and cover over 17 million health care workers across the country. The rules will create a consistent standard within Medicareand Medicaid while giving patients assurance of the vaccination status of those delivering care.
Full Vaccination by January 4, 2022
If the federal government wins the court case all health care facilities must establish policies that ensure that eligible staff has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (or the one dose of Johnson & Johnson) before providing care and services to patients.
The rules state this must be achieved by December 5, 2021 pending the outcome of the court case.
All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated – either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022, unless the federal government loses in appeal.
Some exemptions are being allowed - pre-existing health issues or religious beliefs, observances, or practices.
These rules do not apply to some health care settings such as physician offices and other small entities that CMS does not regulate. However, CMS notes that the new rules complement the OSHA rules effective June 21, 2021, to ensure that staff is fully vaccinated from COVID-19 unless exempt.
CMS will enforce the new rules to meet their goal is to bring health care providers into compliance. CMS says it will not hesitate to use its full enforcement authority to protect the health and safety of patients.
List of Health Care Facilities Impacted by Rule
The requirements apply to the following health care facilities:
- Ambulatory Surgical Centers,
- Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
- Long-term care facilities
- Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities
- Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
- Home Health Agencies
- Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities
- Critical Access Hospitals
- Clinics (rehabilitation agencies and public health agencies as providers of outpatient physical therapy and speech-language pathology services)
- Community Mental Health Centers
- Home Infusion Therapy suppliers
- Rural Health Clinics/Federally Qualified Health Centers
- End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities
About the Author
Contributor since April 22nd, 2021
Being prepared for the costs and burdens of aging is more than just about how you will pay for quality care services. Being prepared is about family. Your family is affected by your changing health, aging, and disability.
Simple mobility problems or even light dementia can create dependency on your family - even if they are not providing the care themselves. When you own an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you have access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care - but it doesn't stop there.
LTC Insurance safeguards your income and assets so you can maintain your lifestyle and preserve your legacy. But, perhaps as important as anything else, Long-Term Care Insurance gives your loved ones the time to be family, reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on them.
The time to obtain coverage is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when premiums are lower, and your health is better.
Available Resources on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS can put together several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the financial impact of long-term health care where you live. It will also show you state-specific information on tax benefits, care options, rules, and more.
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Advice
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
Take a moment and read -
Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you, or a loved one complete the claim's process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. You can also support finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
LTC NEWS - Your Marketing and Advertising Partner
Use LTC NEWS to drive traffic to your website and help you attract people interested in your products and services. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your products and services.
There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances, and more are available.
Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.
Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world.
You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.
Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations.
Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS.
You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.
LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.
Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.
Sharing News with LTC NEWS
Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org