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COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Mandates for EMS Agencies

Posted: Sept. 16, 2021 (updated Jan. 26, 2022)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has released new vaccine and testing mandates that are now in effect.

: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times

UPDATED Jan. 26, 2022

Several provisions in these new legislative changes impact emergency medical services (EMS) and ambulance agencies.

CMS mandates

On Sept. 9, 2021, the White House issued the Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan. On the same day, CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced changes to emergency regulations impacting vaccination requirements. These mandates were challenged in federal court and on Jan. 13, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the CMS vaccination mandates could go into effect PDF.

CMS has expanded vaccination requirements from only nursing home workers to now include workers in hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies, among others, as a condition for participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The decision was based on the continued and growing spread of the virus in health care settings, especially in parts of the United States with higher incidence of COVID-19. Read the CMS interim final rule

While the interim final rule does not specifically apply to EMS, it does apply to “those providing services in home or community settings, who directly provide any care, treatment or other services for the facility and/or its patients, including employees; licensed practitioners; students, trainees and volunteers; and individuals who provide care, treatment or other services for the facility and/or its patients, under contract or other arrangement.” This statement may extend the vaccination requirement to many EMS providers, including students taking part in clinical rotations.

This article is based on content in the
Sept. 16, 2021 InfoGram.

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