COVID-19 Update
November 23, 2021
CMS Updates Interim Final Rule Frequently Asked Questions Document
On November 18, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published an update to their FAQ document about the Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule (IFR).
The main updates address applicability to CMS-certified therapy providers, pharmacies traveling onsite, a clarification on application to visitors, and vaccine documentation requirements.

OPWDD Guidance on CMS Vaccine Mandate
Today OPWDD released updated guidance on the CMS Vaccine Mandate. Initial guidance released on November 19 addressed the applicability of the CMS Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule to the OPWDD service system. The guidance mostly restates what is within the IFR and can serve as a quick reference to the most important aspects of the IFR to OPWDD providers. Today’s revised guidance clarifies Section 3 regarding the timing for compliance.
We will continue to discuss this guidance and the CMS IFR at our meetings with the Chapters.

Vaccine Bonus Deadline Extended
We were advised this morning by OPWDD that the deadline for staff to be fully vaccinated in order to take advantage of the bonus has been extended from December 1, 2021 to January 14, 2022. It is our understanding the CMS views this as a ministerial change and that their approval is impending. We will discuss this further with Chapters during our call tomorrow.

The vaccine incentive payment is for qualified workers who have been fully vaccinated by January 14 at $500/FTE, $250/ part-time employee (at least 20 hours), and $125/part-time employees working less than 20 hours/week

Fully vaccinated means that one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna are administered no later than January 14. The payroll language will no longer be included, meaning the drop dead date to be eligible for the bonus is January 14.

There will be a webinar on December 2 at 4:00 PM for providers to learn more about FMAP approval. We will provide a link to the webinar as soon as we receive it.

This and all related updates will be cataloged on The Arc New York COVID-19 Resource Page for future reference. Please contact us if you have questions regarding any of this information.
CONTACT: Josh Christiana, Director for Quality, Compliance & Chapter Relations
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