1-14-2022

SCOTUS Allows Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers to Take Effect

On Thursday, January 13, 2022, the US Supreme Court issued a decision which clears the CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers to go into effect in 26 states, including Florida.

CMS recently issued updated guidance for ASCs regarding the mandate implementation and requirements. Under this guidance some deadlines that were initially proposed have been changed. The new deadlines that CMS will be following are as follows:

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1-11-2022

The 2022 Legislative Session Kicks Off

The 2022 Florida Legislative Session kicks off its 60 days of activities today at noon.  Similar to the last two years of legislative sessions, the focus has been on issues created by, impact by, or directly tied to COVID-19.  In addition, the Legislature must adopt a state budget and new district maps for congressional and state legislative seats.  These last two items will absorb much of the energy during the session.

Health care, as in past sessions, will continue to be a focus in the budget and in policy development.  We expect bills that ratify workers compensation rates adopted by the Office of Insurance Regulation, COVID liability, and health care transparency.  As happened in the last session, there will be attempts to repeal Florida’s no fault auto insurance system.

FSASC is already tracking hundreds of measures that could affect your ability to serve patients.  We will keep members updated throughout the session and will send alerts when critical issues arise. Thank you for trusting FSASC to represent your ASC at the capital during the 2022 Legislative Session!

 

1-7-2022

AHCA Issues Notice on Vaccine Mandate Survey Compliance 

The Agency for Health Care Administration sent an alert this week to all providers regarding the administration of the CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

In the alert, AHCA stated that they “will follow Florida law. Accordingly, AHCA will not survey for compliance with the CMS vaccine mandate rule.”

To view the AHCA alert, click here.

The CMS vaccine mandate continues to place Florida’s ASCs in conflict with Florida law. FSASC will keep members updated with new developments as the dispute works through the court system.

 

12-2-2021

Mandatory Vaccines for ASCs Temporarily Suspended

Recently, U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty from the Western District of Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the healthcare worker vaccination mandate from CMS. The order reveals that the court questions the administration's authority to implement the CMS mandate.

The nationwide injunction includes Florida and the order remains in effect until final resolution of the case. While the lawsuit is working through the courts, the US Department of Health & Human Services and CMS are unable to implement the mandate. It is important to note that the vaccination mandate has not been struck down, just temporarily suspended.

There is no clear timeline on what to expect next from the courts or the injunction. FSASC will provide more information as it becomes available.

 

11-12-2021

It's All About the Exemptions

ASCs have been challenged on how to comply with the new CMS Conditions for Coverage which requires that all (i) Center employees; (ii) Licensed practitioners; (iii) Students, trainees, and volunteers; and (iv) Individuals who provide care, treatment, or other services for the center and/or its patients, under contract or by other arrangement, be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022 or have medical or religious exemptions.

ASCs can anticipate some resistance in achieving a 100% vaccination rate.  Having a sound policy and procedure in place on how exemptions and/or deferments are practiced will be key.

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