This webinar is offered free of charge thanks to support from the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC).
Nearly two months after the release of the Biden Administration’s Path Out of the Pandemic, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have released much anticipated standards and regulations related to vaccine mandates and testing that will be relevant to health centers. On November 4, 2021, OSHA issued a COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) which will require employers with 100 or more employees to have fully vaccinated staff or submit to weekly testing. The ETS also requires employers to provide paid time off for employees to receive and recover from the vaccine. It is estimated that nearly 84 million Americans will be covered by the OSHA ETS. Also on November 4, 2021, CMS issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) requiring that health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities be vaccinated, unless they have approved religious or medical exemptions. There is no testing option under the IFR. It is estimated that more than 10,000 Federally Qualified Health Center sites will be covered by the CMS IFR.
Both the OSHA ETS and CMS IFR require that covered staff be vaccinated by January 4, 2022 or face potential fines and other enforcement actions.
In this Industry Update we will evaluate how the ETS and IFR affect health centers and their employees. We will address frequently asked questions around exemptions, testing, paid leave for staff receiving the vaccine and other concerns for health centers.
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