Mandatory Vaccination Plan for Medicaid/Medicare Providers May Extend to EMS

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Diane Juffras

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Cities and counties that provide emergency medical services, listen up! In a blog post published last week, I discussed President Biden’s new COVID-19 Plan. One element of that plan requires the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to develop a regulation requiring healthcare providers who are reimbursed by Medicaid or Medicare to ensure that all employees are vaccinated against COVID-19. A county manager pointed out to me that EMS also bills Medicaid and Medicare. I dimly recalled but forgot to mention that in my blog post. This means that EMS personnel may be subject to the mandatory vaccination requirement. This requirement differs from President’s directive to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to draft a rule requiring larger employers to have employees vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 weekly. The Medicaid and Medicare requirement does not have a weekly test option. Only time will tell whether EMS will be included. Cities that thought this requirement was only problem for counties and their local health departments need to prepare for the possibility that this may affect them too. To read more about the Medicaid/Medicare provider vaccination requirement, see last week’s blog post here under the third heading, “Required Vaccination of Healthcare Workers.”

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