While the state of Iowa does not require a physician’s signature for a medical exemption, the CMS regulation preempts the applicability of any state or local law (i.e., we must follow the CMS regulation). Medical exemptions must include documentation confirming the clinical contraindications to the COVID-19 vaccine and must be signed and dated by a licensed practitioner. You can find the Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Exemption – Medical [PDF] form online.
Religious exemptions are based on sincerely held beliefs. It does not need an attestation from a religious official. You can find the Iowa Department of Public Health Certificate of Exemption – Religious [PDF] form online. Please use a Notary Public outside of the hospital. There are several available in the community, including the UPS Store.
Yes. We must have 100 percent of our staff either fully vaccinated or granted an exemption or we risk losing our CMS certification. Loss of certification means loss of reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, which make up nearly 60 percent of our revenue.
No. At this time, the booster is not part of this regulation.
The CMS ruling is clear that ‘employers must ensure that we minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19’ and that we must ‘protect employees from retaliation for requesting an exemption’. To minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19, unvaccinated staff, volunteers, etc. must wear procedural masks while at MGMC, indefinitely. Physical distancing must be observed at times when masks are not worn (such as when eating or drinking).