The KGVO has learned that the community medical center now requires all employees and staff to be fully immunized against COVID 19.
In the past recently HB 702, there is a subsection that applies to healthcare facilities:
“(3) (a) A person, government entity or employer does not unlawfully discriminate under this section if recommend that an employee receives a vaccine. (b) A health care facility, as defined in 50-5-101, does not not discriminate unlawfully under this article if it is in accordance with the two from the following:
(i) requests an employee to voluntarily provide the employee’s vaccination or immunization status for the purpose of determining whether the health care facility should implement reasonable accommodations to protect safety and health employees, patients, visitors and others against communicable diseases. A healthcare facility may consider an employee to be unvaccinated or unimmunized if they refuse to provide the employee’s immunization or immunization status to the healthcare facility in order to determine whether reasonable accommodation should be taken. implemented.
(ii) implement reasonable accommodation measures for employees, patients, visitors and other unvaccinated or unimmunized persons in order to protect the safety and health of employees, patients, visitors and others from communicable diseases.
KGVO received this response from Community Medical Center CEO Bob Gomes:
The community medical center plans to fully comply with the federal vaccine requirement because we know the COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense against this virus and getting vaccinated supports our mission to make communities healthier. We are committed to meeting all of our regulatory and compliance obligations, and are working diligently with our staff to ensure they receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit an exemption by the January 4 deadline. 2022.
In addition, the Billings Clinic recently sent a letter explaining why their healthcare facilities require COVID vaccinations.
“New CMS rule requires vaccination of healthcare workers in Montana
RiverStone Health, St. Vincent Healthcare and The Billings Clinic are committed to caring for our patients and the community, and we will always strive to provide that care in the safest way possible. We also remain committed to complying with all requirements and regulations regarding the provision of safe, high-quality healthcare in the communities we serve.
Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released their final interim rule that requires most Medicare and Medicaid certified providers to ensure their staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Failure to comply with the CMS COVID-19 Medical Staff Vaccination Rule could result in monetary penalties, denial of payment, or termination of Medicare and Medicaid programs for our three (3) programs. Ultimately, to make sure we can continue to treat tens of thousands of Medicare / Medicaid patients, we are requiring our healthcare workers to get vaccinated against COVID19, as outlined by the final interim rule. .
The interim final rule allows for an exemption from immunization requirements and each of our organizations is planning to collect and assess these requests. Importantly, the CMS Interim Final Rule is different from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Temporary Emergency Standard, which was also released on Friday, November 5. The CMS Final Interim Rule specifically preempts the enforceability of any state or local. contrary law and, therefore, this rule supersedes Montana House Bill 702. We recognize that several states have challenged the CMS rule, but that because the first compliance deadline is in three weeks, our organizations are putting plans and process to comply with the CMS rule. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they reduce hospitalizations and deaths. As healthcare providers, it is our duty and obligation to care for and protect patients, including the most vulnerable among us, as well as to ensure the health and well-being of our people. community. Therefore, we comply with the requirements described in the CMS Interim Final Rule. ‘
The KGVO is awaiting a word from Providence St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula on whether it plans to comply with the CMS interim final rule and demand that all of its more than 1,400 employees be fully vaccinated against COVID 19.
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