Vaccine Mandates and Provider Relief

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This information is provided by national senior living association partner, Argentum.

Vaccine Mandates

OSHA posted a note to its website yesterday that it has suspended implementation and enforcement of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) pending future developments in the ongoing litigation of the ETS. OSHA had originally stated it would move forward with enforcement notwithstanding the court order. This is the first time OSHA itself has said that it will not be implementing or enforcing the ETS at this time.

At least 27 states have challenged the legality of ETS, along with challenges by private litigants and business groups. Last Monday, the 5th Circuit issued a nationwide stay of the ETS pending expedited review of the ETS and OSHA’s justifications for it, and then upheld the stay on November 12. A U.S. appeals court in Cincinnati was selected by a lottery this week to decide the consolidated challenges.

We are monitoring developments of this announcement and will share more information on the impact of the suspension as it becomes available. For more information on the ETS and the CMS Interim Final Rule (IFR), please review this memo prepared by Argentum’s outside counsel Foley Hoag LLP. Additionally, an in-depth webinar on both the ETS and IFR was presented this week, if you missed it you can watch a recording here.

Provider Relief Fund

Last Friday, Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) introduced H.R. 5963, the Provider Relief Fund Improvement Act, and was joined by Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA). The bill would require HHS to distribute remaining provider relief funds by March 31, relieve bureaucratic hurdles with the reporting periods, and provide additional flexibility for use of the funds. Argentum fully supports this bill and will be working with Representative Spanberger on advancing this to help get additional funds directly to frontline caregivers as quickly as possible.

As we continue our advocacy efforts to encourage additional funds to assisted living providers, we are asking for your help in completing a survey on provider relief. The survey questions are pulled directly from the Phase 4 application, so you will need your completed application (or the data you used to file your application) to answer the survey questions. The process should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey by this Friday, November 19.

Finally, Argentum will be submitting comments tomorrow in response to an Information Collection Request (ICR) initiated by HRSA to establish the ability to impose reporting requirements beyond the Public Health Emergency (PHE). The current PHE was recently extended through mid-January, and may be further extended, but should it lapse this would allow the PRF reporting requirements to continue. Our comments were drafted with the input of our Legal and Government Affairs Committee and supported by our outside counsel, Foley Hoag LLP.