AE letter to Xavier Becerra and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure
Members of Advancing Excellence collaborated on a letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in response to mandating COVID-10 vaccination in skilled nursing facilities.
- First and foremost, the President’s order should at a minimum include a vaccine mandate for all Medicare-and Medicaid-certified settings, not just nursing homes. This is the only way to prevent nursing home employees from leaving to work in other settings such as assisted living, hospitals, hospices, or home health agencies, where there is no mandate.
- Second, a requirement to demonstrate vaccination status should apply not only to the clinical teams, but to all staff coming into the buildings, including executive/administrative, housekeeping, environmental services, food service, and so forth. Additionally, we ask that CMS modify its visitation guidance to allow facilities to ask visitors about their vaccination status and/or test results and require vaccination or negative tests prior to visits. This requirement should also apply to federal and state survey inspectors and ombudsman, who can also be vectors of transmission of this dangerous virus.