Interim Final Rule on COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements for LTCF and ICFs-IID

COVID-19; CMS

​This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an Interim Final Rule on COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements. This rule applies to residents, clients, and staff of Long Term Care (LTC) facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs-IID). CMS also published a QSO memo to state survey agencies on how to operationalize this new requirement.

The rule is scheduled to go into effect on May 21, 2021, ten days from its publication for inspection in the federal register. 

This rule specifies that LTC facilities must develop and implement policies and procedures to: 

  • ​Educate all residents and staff about COVID-19 vaccines; 
  • Offer vaccination to all residents and staff; and 
  • Report to the CDC via NHSN certain data regarding vaccination status for residents and staff as well as any therapeutic treatments (e.g., monoclonal antibody) use. Note that this requires additional reporting via NHSN modules: reporting the Resident Therapeutics Pathway found on COVID-19 LTCF Module, as well as reporting via the Weekly HCP and Resident COVID-19 Vaccination Module
Additionally, ICF-IID facilities must educate all clients and staff about COVID-19 vaccines and offer vaccination to all clients and staff. Reporting is not required for ICFs-IID; however, CMS strongly encourages voluntary reporting
 
The comment period for this interim final rule closes July 12, 2021. CMS is also requesting feedback on the feasibility of implementing similar requirements in other long term care settings that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments, including assisted living.

AHCA will provide further analysis and guidance on implementing this rule in the coming days.

For more information, please contact covid19@ahca.org.