FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Terrie Davidson
Community Relations Manager
Wickenburg Community Hospital
COVID Vaccine CMS Mandate
WICKENBURG, AZ (November 18, 2021) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the nation’s major healthcare programs. Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH) is designated by Medicare as a Critical Access Hospital and its clinics are designated as Rural Health Clinics. This designation affords rural areas with much needed access to lifesaving healthcare services. On November 4th, Medicare, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), mandated all hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding to require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of participation.
In compliance with the CMS Vaccine Mandate, WCH has issued a new CMS Vaccine Mandate Policy to ensure that all applicable staff are vaccinated against COVID-19. This policy applies to eligible “staff” working at any WCH facility regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact. The regulation defines “staff” as employees, licensed practitioners, students, trainees, and volunteers. The rule goes on to define “staff” to include individuals who provide care, treatment, or other services for the facility and/or its patients under contract or other arrangement.
The recent federal appeals court stays on the OSHA vaccine does not apply to the CMS mandate. The Fifth Circuit ruling has no impact on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) interim final rule for healthcare workers. At this time the recent announcement of the State of Arizona joining the lawsuit against the new CMS mandate has not shown progression in the courts. The deadlines for the CMS mandate is December 4th. As such, WCH will proceed as appropriate. Wickenburg Community Hospital and Clinics remains committed to quality health and wellness services where the patient, family and community come first.