GALION — Employees of healthcare providers such as Avita Health System are now facing the prospect of losing their jobs if they do not get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Employees at Avita Health System were informed last week that due to notice given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), they will be required to be vaccinated or lose their positions with the company. The agency notified Avita that the federal will no longer pay for services that are provided to recipients of Medicare and Medicaid at Avita facilities unless all health system employees are vaccinated. Previously, Avita officials had stated their commitment to respect the choice of their employees whether or not to get vaccinated.
Healthcare workers were part of a group that conducted a protest against vaccine mandates last weekend in Mansfield.
According to information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal mandate from the Biden-Harris administration applies to the following groups: healthcare staff, employees, Associated Physicians Practices with privileges that provide on-site services, students, volunteers, reps, vendors, workers, and contractors.
In a press release issued earlier this month, CMS officials stated the following: “Facilities covered by this regulation must establish a policy ensuring all eligible staff have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment, or other services by December 6, 2021. All eligible staff must have received the necessary shots to be fully vaccinated — either two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson — by January 4, 2022. The regulation also provides for exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. Facilities must develop a similar process or plan for permitting exemptions in alignment with federal law.”
According to the press release, “These requirements will apply to approximately 76,000 providers and cover over 17 million health care workers across the country. The regulation will create a consistent standard within Medicare and Medicaid while giving patients assurance of the vaccination status of those delivering care.”
The requirements apply to ambulatory surgical centers, hospices, programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly, hospitals, long term care facilities, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, home health agencies, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, critical access hospitals, clinics (rehabilitation agencies, and public health agencies as providers of outpatient physical therapy and speech-language pathology services), community mental health centers, home infusion therapy suppliers, rural health clinics/federally qualified health centers, and end-stage renal disease facilities.