November 5, 2021

CRT Providers and Manufacturers,

Yesterday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) released new federal COVID-19 vaccination/testing/masking requirements for certain healthcare workers and for companies with 100 or more employees, respectively. There is a great deal of information to analyze, but we wanted to provide the following highlights.

CMS- The Agency has issued an "emergency regulation" implementing COVID-19 vaccination and related requirements for certain healthcare providers/suppliers that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. There are a variety of entities that are impacted, but DME Suppliers (and CRT Suppliers) are NOT LISTED. The announcement and full details can be found here.

For those entities impacted, certain CMS requirements are effective as of 12-5-21 and others as of 1-4-22. This is an interim final rule so CMS is asking for public comments, which we will be submitting. But that will not delay the implementation dates. 

OSHA- The Agency has issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that “establishes minimum vaccination, vaccination verification, face covering, and testing requirements to address the grave danger of COVID-19 in the workplace”. The regulations apply to companies with 100 or more employees, unless specifically excluded. The announcement reports this will cover two-thirds of the country’s private sector workers. Full information can be found here.

Some OSHA requirements are effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and others 60 days after. Certain employees are exempt: “the ETS does not apply to employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present, employees while they are working from home, or employees who work exclusively outdoors”. OSHA is also accepting public comments, but that will not delay implementation. 

Both CMS and OSHA provide for vaccination exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances, or practices. The OSHA regulations also allow for an alternative “weekly testing” option for unvaccinated employees, but do require unvaccinated employees to wear a face covering in the workplace. Both agencies indicate their regulations preempt any regulations of States and subdivisions of States.

Now that these are published, the regulations will be subject to Congressional scrutiny and likely federal and state legal actions. These potentially could impact both the requirements and the implementation dates. We will monitor closely. Please let us know of any questions or comments and we will share additional information as we move ahead. 



Don Clayback
Executive Director | NCART
716-839-9728 (office) | 716-913-4754 (cell)
[email protected] |