On December 15, 2021, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Louisiana federal district court did not have the authority to issue a nationwide injunction in its November 30, 2021, Order that blocked the CMS Vaccine Mandate. The Court ruled that the injunction would remain in place only in the states that are party to the suit. For the 26 states that did not join the lawsuit and are not subject to a separate court’s ruling, including Pennsylvania, the mandate is no longer enjoined and is still in effect. Based on this ruling, the original January 4th deadline for health care workers to be fully vaccinated remains in place.
On December 2, 2021, CMS issued a memo, QSO-22-04-ALL, acknowledging the various injunctions imposed by the various courts, and advising that CMS will not implement or enforce the mandate “pending future developments in the litigation.” Without additional guidance from CMS, it is unclear whether the Fifth Circuit’s ruling is a development which will cause CMS to resume implementation and enforcement activities in the 26 states not currently subject to an injunction.
Best practice for providers in jurisdictions not currently involved in the pending litigation is to continue to prepare to meet the requirements of the vaccine mandate. We would recommend that providers be prepared to be in compliance with the January 4th deadline, pending further pronouncements from CMS.
These remain complex and rapidly changing issues. We will continue to monitor the proceedings and status of the CMS Vaccine Mandate for our clients and will provide guidance as warranted.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have regarding the status of the CMS Vaccine Mandate and how your organization should proceed.
Office Number: 717-620-2424
Glenn Davis – email@example.com
David Marshall – firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Dollman – email@example.com
Vaccination Regulation: Enforcement of Rule Imposing Vaccine Requirement for Health Care Staff in Medicare-and Medicaid-certified Providers and Suppliers is Suspended so Long as Court Ordered Injunctions Remain in Effect (cms.gov)