BOZEMAN - We knew hospitals participating in federal programs were required to have all of their employees vaccinated. That was until an injunction.
“The question here is whether or not CMS has the authority or B did they approach their rule development in a manner in which the courts would determine was an appropriate rule development process,” said Rich Rasmussen, Montana Hospital Association President and CEO.
The Biden administration announced the vaccine mandate back in September and if health providers did not comply, they would forfeit federal reimbursements.
“In our state where upwards of 65 to 67 percent of all of our revenues come from those two programs, there’s not a hospital in the state, and for that matter, not a hospital in the country that could survive without Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, so it really was a financial viability issue," said Rasmussen.
The injunction came out of a district court in Louisiana, which temporarily stops the original mandate ruling.
“We fully expect this rule will be litigated in the U.S. Supreme Court, so we might see it be bumped up to an appeals court, but it’s going to end up in the Supreme Court," Rasmussen added.
And that legal process could take a while.
“Even though the initial CMS rule had a deadline of January 4th, that deadline in all likelihood would be reset if the courts determine the CMS rule is valid," said Rasmussen.
Bozeman Health announced last week their plans for the new development.
“Bozeman Health will abide by the injunction while continuing to monitor the situation,” said Kallie Kujawa, Bozeman Health System Director of Quality and Safety
MTN News asked the MHA President was why is there a vaccine requirement conflict for health care workers when the vaccine is being heavily encouraged by health care workers.
“I think each individual really values their healthcare decision making and their choices, and I think for some folks this is an issue not so much perhaps about the efficacy of the vaccine as it is about their own personal choices,” said Rasmussen.
As of now, we’ll have to see how this plays out in court.