What is the status of the CMS Vaccine Mandate at present?

The United States District Court in the Western District of Louisiana has issued a nationwide injunction preventing the federal government from implementing the CMS vaccine mandate for health care staff. This injunction applies to all states which were not covered by the injunction issued yesterday in ten states, ensuring that the entire nation is covered.

In its memorandum ruling, the District Court in the Louisiana case found that the federal government did not have the authority to issue such a mandate.

There are currently four active cases regarding the CMS interim final rule staff vaccine mandate:

the Louisiana litigation, which was filed by a 14-state group

the Missouri litigation filed by 10 states and which was the subject of the 10-state preliminary injunction issued yesterday

and individual cases filed by the states of Florida and Texas.

Florida’s request for a preliminary injunction was denied by the District Court last week and is being appealed. A hearing in the Texas case is scheduled for Thursday morning.

The federal government today noticed its intention to appeal the 10-state injunction, which makes it likely we should expect an appeal of the nationwide injunction, as well.

What does today’s action by the Louisiana District Court mean?

​While the interim final rule is, as of today, prevented in all states from going into effect, Medicare providers should continue to prepare to have policies and procedures ready so that if the government’s arguments prevail, they can be quickly implemented.
As employers, providers should consider what policy they want to have in place until a government mandate requires it, which is not certain.