November 19, 2021
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has revised the requirements certified providers must meet for participation in Medicare and Medicaid programs. These rules establish COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff at covered facilities.
The vaccination mandate applies to Medicare certified health care facilities. In the OMH system, this includes OMH operated or licensed hospitals and Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Programs (CPEPs). These facilities should be in compliance with the CMS rule if they are already in compliance with OMH’s vaccine mandate at 14 NYCRR Part 557.
The CMS rule is also applicable to OMH licensed residential treatment facilities (RTFs) for youth, if those facilities are certified by Medicare. Such RTFs are not subject to Part 557 and will have to take steps to comply with the CMS rule. The CMS rule does not apply to OMH licensed facilities that are not certified by CMS, such as freestanding clinics, rehab and residential programs that are not operated by a hospital, even though those facilities may still bill Medicare and Medicaid. CMS included “community mental health centers” in their rule, but we do not believe that this type of CMS-certified facility operates in New York State.
The CMS Interim Final Rule is available on-line at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/05/2021-23831/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-omnibus-covid-19-health-care-staff-vaccination