A CMS Press Release on May 11, 2021 explained the new rule issued by CMS that is aimed at “expanding efforts to grow COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake amongst the nations most vulnerable”.
As part of the ongoing response to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and to improve health care access and reduce the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule that will ensure long-term care facilities, and residential facilities serving clients with intellectual disabilities, educate and offer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents, clients and staff. These requirements apply to Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, or ICFs-IID, and align with existing requirements for influenza and pneumococcal vaccines in LTC facilities.
The rule also requires LTC facilities to report weekly COVID-19 vaccination status data for both residents and staff. The new vaccination reporting requirement will not only assist in monitoring uptake amongst residents and staff but will also aid in identifying facilities that may be in need of additional resources and/or assistance to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These new requirements reinforce CMS’ commitment of ensuring equitable vaccine access for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries,” said Dr. Lee Fleisher, MD, CMS Chief Medical Officer and Director of CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ). “Today’s announcement directly aids nursing home residents and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Our goal is to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and acceptance among these individuals and the staff who serve them”.CMS Press Release May 11, 2021