Infection Control Pathway Updated to Reflect End of Staff Vaccine Requirement

Research and Data; Regulations; COVID-19


This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services updated the Infection Control Critical Element (CE) pathway related to the end of the Healthcare Provider COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate announced May 31, 2023. The pathway was updated to remove all surveyor guidance related to F888 (Staff COVID-19 Vaccine). Surveyors are advised to verify compliance with requirements for educating and offering COVID-19 immunization only. All other areas regarding staff COVID vaccines were removed from the pathway. The Entrance Conference form was also updated to remove all staff COVID-19 vaccine requirements. The Entrance Conference form removed the need for facilities to maintain a COVID-19 vaccine matrix. Facilities are reminded to continue to document COVID-19 vaccine education to both residents and staff.  

There is also a change, unrelated to the vaccine update. Under "Instructions" for the Interim LTCSP Initial Survey and Certification Process, facilities that are not yet certified should still complete minimum data set (MDS) assessments, despite not being able to submit them until the facility is certified.

The Final Rule was added to the Federal Register, as expected. The rule becomes effective on August 4, 2023.

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