November 4, 2021
Here are the results of my PRELIMINARY investigation re: the two critical questions we all have pertaining to the just released (proposed) CMS vaccine mandate rule:
Based on the information shared during the 2:00 CMS Virtual Briefing, we do NOT believe the list of covered healthcare entities and facilities required to comply with the CMS mandate includes community-based mental health and substance use disorder organizations. We base this conclusion on the federal definition of ‘healthcare facilities’ well as the slides with the lists of covered entities (attached).
The next question is related to CMHCs (one of the entities listed in the list of covered entities), I just spoke with OMH Counsel’s Office and it appears that unless your organization continues to be certified by Medicare as a (certified) CMHC, your organization is not a CERTIFIED CMHC and would not be required to comply with the CMS mandate. (One of the 3 slides attached also exempts Group Homes and HCBS.)
I also spoke with OASAS Counsel’s Office and was told that OASAS is reviewing the law now as it applies to OASAS certified facilities and will be getting information out as soon as they complete review.
Please Note: I will continue to sift through information from trusted sources including the National Council as well as OASAS and OMH, and I will look to them for the final word on these matters. I hope you will do the same. I know that isn’t particularly satisfying, but we are doing our best and are not the final word on this matter. Stand by for more.
This document https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2021-23831.pdf is scheduled to be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register and will be available online at: federalregister.gov/d/2021-23831, and on govinfo.gov
In addition, attached are 3 slides from the 2:00 CMS Virtual Briefing re: the CMS Vaccine Mandate.