The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is developing an emergency regulation requiring staff vaccinations within the nation’s more than 15,000 Medicare- and Medicaid-participating nursing homes.
CMS said it expects to issue the new rules in September.
As of August 8, about 62% of nursing home staff were vaccinated nationally, and vaccination among staff at the state level ranged from a high of 88% to a low of 44%, CMS said.
CMS also said the emergence of the Delta variant in the United States has driven a rise in cases among nursing home residents from a low of 319 cases on June 27, to 2,696 cases on August 8, with many of the recent outbreaks occurring in facilities located in areas of the United States with the lowest staff vaccination rates.
In May, the CMS issued new regulations that require long-term care (LTC) facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICFs/IID) to educate residents, clients, and staff about COVID-19 vaccination and, when available, offer a COVID-19 vaccine to these individuals. These regulations also mandate that LTC facilities report weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and staff to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).