On January 14th, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released QSO-22-09-ALL providing guidance for the states impacted by the Supreme Court’s ruling on January 13 to move forward with the COVID vaccine requirement for health care workers of organizations receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding. This includes Oklahoma and, as a result, Epworth. A series of compliance dates will begin on February 14, stretching 30 and 60 days thereafter with increasing requirements. The memo states that “Within 90 days and thereafter following issuance of this memorandum, facilities failing to maintain compliance with the 100% standard may be subject to enforcement action.”
Epworth has already begun its efforts to comply with this anticipated requirement. We have provided on-site vaccination clinics, education, and support for those getting vaccinated, including paid time off for those who experience side effects from the vaccine. Because of these efforts, we do not anticipate losing a significant portion of our staff due to this mandate. Regardless, we have contingency plans in place to adapt to any unexpected staff shortages that might occur due to this mandate or other COVID-related absences.
Thank you for your continued support of our residents and staff as we work together against COVID.