There is a new development in the ongoing litigation over the CMS COVID-19 vaccine mandate. As providers may recall, on November 30, 2021, a District Court in Louisiana heard a challenge to the CMS vaccine mandate brought by 14 states had issued a preliminary injunction, keeping the mandate from going into effect nationwide (and a separate District Court in Missouri had previously issued an injunction in 10 states that joined a lawsuit there).
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services appealed that Louisiana decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Louisiana Ruling: On December 15, 2021, the Court of Appeals pared back the Louisiana District Court’s injunction, limiting it to the 14 states that had joined that lawsuit.
- Missouri Ruling: The injunction issued by the District Court in Missouri is limited to the 10 states that joined that lawsuit.
If a Medicare-certified provider’s state is not listed among the 14 states in the Louisiana ruling or in the 10 states in the Missouri ruling, it means that there is no court ruling in place to block the implementation of the CMS vaccine mandate.
The situation continues to unfold. An article on the CNN website reports, ““The Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to allow a vaccine mandate aimed at certain extra health care workers to go into effect nationwide…So far, lower courts have blocked the health care worker mandate from being enforced in about half the country.”
Members of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization will find a Regulatory Alert (12/16/21) will some additional details available in the Regulatory Alerts and Updates section of the NHPCO website.