Supreme Court Leaves Vaccine Requirement for Health Workers in Place

Allen Smith, J.D. By Allen Smith, J.D. October 6, 2022
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A medical health professional administering a COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health workers, letting the current requirement stand. We've gathered articles on the news from SHRM Online and other media outlets.

Appeal Turned Away

On Oct. 3, the Supreme Court turned away a challenge by Missouri and nine other states to President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees in health care facilities that receive federal funds. The justices declined to immediately consider their claims that the vaccine rule violates federal administrative law and interferes with powers reserved for states under the U.S. Constitution.

(Reuters)

Other States Challenging the Rule

Other states challenging the rule were Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The states also said the requirement worsens staffing shortages among rural health care facilities and limits their ability to treat patients.

(Fierce Healthcare)

Health Care Vaccine Requirement

Under the federal health care vaccine requirement, hospitals and other health care facilities must ensure their staff are fully vaccinated or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid funding. The requirement applies to about 10.3 million workers employed by 76,000 health care facilities, including ambulatory surgery centers and nursing homes. The federal requirement was implemented in November 2021.

In a survey of more than 1,000 physicians and clinicians, approximately a third disagreed with the vaccine requirements at the time.

(Rev Cycle Intelligence)

Supreme Court Ruling for Requirement Applicable to Health Care Workers

In a Jan. 13 decision, the Supreme Court allowed the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to require COVID-19 vaccination for health care workers at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers.

In a separate opinion, the Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) vaccine-or-testing rule for large employers. OSHA soon thereafter withdrew the directive.

(SHRM Online)

Anticipated OSHA COVID-19 Rule Criticized

On Sept. 26, House Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and Workforce Protections Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Keller, R-Pa., wrote OSHA Assistant Secretary Douglas Parker to oppose the agency's anticipated COVID-19 rule. The rule would implement a permanent standard for health care industry employers, reviving a 2021 emergency temporary standard.

(SHRM Online)

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