CMS Interim Final Rule will require BCMC employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Press release from the Bradley County Medical Center

Warren, Arkansas – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most healthcare settings, including Critical Access Hospitals such as Bradley County Medical Center, along with rural health clinics, home health agencies, and rehabilitation services BCMC provides, that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

There are currently three different mandates which include the Federal Contractors Mandate, the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard, and the CMS interim final rule, which is what affects BCMC. There are no options to allow for testing or other measures for unvaccinated staff under the CMS interim final rule. If BCMC does not comply with the CMS interim final rule then the hospital would be subject to fines, denial of payment from Medicare and Medicaid, and termination from the Medicare and Medicaid program. Termination would be a devastating blow to our community and the more than 200 people BCMC employs.

This requirement applies to facilities regulated under the Medicare Conditions of Participation. This applies to all facility employees, licensed practitioners, students, trainees, volunteers, and contracted staff of Bradley County Medical Center. Additionally, this also applies to staff who perform off-site duties and to individuals who enter BCMC such as a physician with privileges who is admitting and/or treating patients on-site, even if their physician’s office doesn’t fall under the Medicare Conditions of Participation.

Because of the CMS rule, BCMC employees will have until Dec. 6, 2021 to receive their first shot of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or their one-dose vaccine and must have received all shots for vaccination by Jan. 4, 2022. CMS requires facilities to allow exemptions in accordance with federal law for recognized medical conditions that would prevent someone from taking the vaccine or sincerely held religious beliefs. BCMC has developed a policy to make sure the hospital will be in compliance with this rule and allow for employees to apply for exemptions.

For the latest news and updates regarding BCMC please like the Bradley County Medical Center Facebook page. To keep up with the most recent news and updates for the BCMC Rural Health Clinic, please like the BCMC Rural Health Clinic page on Facebook.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. I have serious problems with the blanket requirements for vaccinations without some exceptions for religious or medical reasons. I can see some serious lawsuits coming if there are deaths or lifetime disabilities resulting from these mandates. I think this is a “feel good ” action just to appease.

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