Statement from LeadingAge on CMS’ Interim Final Rule on Employee Vaccination Mandate

PRESS RELEASE | November 04, 2021 | by Lisa Sanders

Lisa Sanders lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

November 4, 2021 Washington, DC—Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, on CMS’ interim final rule requiring all staff and contractors at most providers receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funding to be vaccinated against COVID-19:

“Since last winter, vaccines have been saving the lives of older adults, their families and caregiving professionals. Ensuring that all health care staff are vaccinated makes sense—and mandates help protect older adults, who move across multiple care settings. Broad mandates that cover staff in all health care settings (including contract workers) also level the playing field among providers who are competing for in-demand workers.

While we appreciate the interim final rule’s ramp-up period for compliance as well as its plan for safe exceptions for medical and religious reasons, we are concerned about the impact on aging services workforces.

The policy could further complicate staffing issues (including the prospect of additional departures) for our members who are already contending with longstanding workforce challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. We cannot overemphasize the need for staffing support and will continue to make our members’ needs known to the Administration and to CMS.

Our members’ top priority continues to be ensuring the well-being of residents and staff.”

 

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.