Biden Puts Pressure on Nursing Homes to Vaccinate Staff Against COVID-19
New mandate, which will come in the form of a regulation to be issued by CMS, could happen next month
THURSDAY, Aug. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- All U.S. nursing home staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or their employers will risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday.
"If you visit, live, or work in a nursing home, you should not be at a high risk for contracting COVID from unvaccinated employees," Biden said during a speech made from the White House. "While I'm mindful that my authority at the federal government is limited, I'm going to continue to look for ways to keep people safe and increase vaccination rates."
The new mandate, which will come in the form of a regulation to be issued by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, could happen next month, the Associated Press reported.
Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, praised the move, but asked for more. "Vaccination mandates for health care personnel should be applied to all health care settings. Without this, nursing homes face a disastrous workforce challenge," Parkinson said in a statement. "Focusing only on nursing homes will cause vaccine-hesitant workers to flee to other health care providers and leave many centers without adequate staff to care for residents. It will make an already difficult workforce shortage even worse."