The Biden administration will announce Wednesday that nursing homes will soon risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid funding if they do not mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their workers.
The de facto mandate will be issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is expected to take effect next month, as first reported by CNN. The effort is the newest by the Biden administration to boost the nationwide vaccination rate, which has cratered since the summer began, only to see a marginal increase as the delta variant wave has swept the country.
Scoop: The Biden admin will direct nursing homes to require their staff be vaccinated against Covid-19 or risk losing Medicare/Medicaid funding, per officials.
Biden will announce this afternoon he is directing HHS to draw up new regulationshttps://t.co/iRuGjh0Cop
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) August 18, 2021
Nursing home residents have disproportionately died from COVID-19 compared to the general population, and nursing home staff were among the first to be eligible for vaccination in all fifty states. Still, hundreds of thousands of staff at the facilities that care for the sick and elderly remain unvaccinated eight months after the shots became available. (RELATED: FDA Approves COVID Booster Shot For Immunocompromised Americans)
President Joe Biden has already mandated vaccination for federal workers and military workers, and many private businesses have begun mandating vaccination for their employees as well. States and localities are increasingly considering vaccine mandates of their own for indoor facilities such as restaurants and gyms. (RELATED: Fox News Poll: Americans Support Vaccine Mandates And Passports)
CMS previously prevented many visitors from going to nursing homes in order to protect patients using similar regulatory authority. While some healthcare systems have mandated vaccines for workers in facilities like hospitals, the Biden administration hasn’t yet commented on whether a similar ultimatum for federal funds could be in the cards for other healthcare facilities.