Leadership | 01.14.22
Providers Concerned About Staffing Shortages Post-SCOTUS Vaccination Mandate Ruling
Healthcare providers are raising concerns that federal vaccine mandates for healthcare facilities upheld by the Supreme Court recently could exacerbate serious staffing shortages nationwide, potentially threatening care in regions with low vaccination rates. The nation's highest court, by a 5-4 vote, upheld a vaccination requirement for staff working in facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid funding. This decision requires the providers to vaccinate their staffers or risk losing federal funding. It applies to roughly 10.4 million U.S. workers. In the weeks leading up to the decision, the mandate was supported by major provider organizations and leading trade groups like the American Hospital Association as a needed tool to stop viral spread in healthcare settings. However, providers conceded that requiring immunizations could exacerbate the worsening staffing crisis, particularly in facilities and regions with acute need like long-term care communities. Staffing shortages at such facilities were already at crisis levels before the ruling, according to the National Center for Assisted Living.