The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023 has left many healthcare facilities confused about whether the vaccination mandate for Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) certified healthcare facilities still stands. This confusion stems from the Biden Administration’s May 1, 2023 announcement that federally mandated COVID-19 vaccination requirements would end for federal employees, federal contractors, and international air travelers at the end of the public health emergency. While the vaccine mandate ended for these individuals on May 11, 2023, the vaccination requirement did not end for CMS-certified healthcare facilities. CMS-certified healthcare facilities subject to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements include, but are not limited to, ambulatory surgical centers, hospices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitation agencies.
The Administration noted in its May 1 announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services would start the process to end vaccination requirements for CMS-certified healthcare facilities, and that further details would be provided in the coming days. To date, CMS has not provided additional guidance about when or how these requirements will end other than its own May 1 statement that the agency would share more details “at the anticipated end of the public health emergency.” CMS-certified healthcare facilities should maintain their policies and procedures for COVID-19 vaccination until further notice.