It looks like you have an older browser that is not supported by this site. Please click here to update.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 4, 2021) – Zach Cattell, president of the Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL), issued the following statement today in response to the release of an emergency regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requiring all workers in Medicare and Medicaid-certified health care settings to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We appreciate the Biden Administration’s continued efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates amongst health care workers across the nation. Over the past several months, nursing home providers in Indiana have made significant efforts to increase staff vaccination rates, and as a result, 64.4% of employees are fully vaccinated as of Oct. 24, 2021, with another 2.8% having been partially vaccinated. Additionally, more than 100 skilled nursing providers in Indiana have been successful in achieving a 75% staff vaccination rate.”
“We understand that vaccines are the best tool we have to protect our most vulnerable citizens from COVID-19, and to that end, we are fully committed to educating all staff members on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”
“While we are supportive of the overall intent of this CMS policy, we are concerned that the implementation of this mandate, which requires full vaccination in the next 60 days, will further burden our sector that is already experiencing a significant workforce crisis. “
“According to a recent survey on staffing shortages conducted by the IHCA/INCAL, more than 54% of our state’s nursing home providers are using agency staff to cover shifts and nearly 32% of facilities are limiting admissions below their census as they are unable to fill vacant positions. A hard deadline with no resources for nursing home providers will exacerbate already difficult workforce challenges, which in turn will threaten our residents’ access to critical services provided by long–term care. This is devastating to vulnerable seniors who need 24-7 clinical support and their families. “
“We hope to continue working with the Administration to make the federal vaccine mandate successful while supporting our residents and caregivers.”
IHCA/INCAL is the state’s largest trade association and advocacy group representing for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes, as well as assisted living communities and independent living. The association provides education, information, and advocacy for health care providers, consumers, and the workforce on behalf of its more than 480-member facilities.