The leader of the Iowa Hospital Association said the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling to uphold a nationwide vaccine mandate for hospitals that provide Medicare and Medicaid services could create additional staffing issues for hospitals. "The Iowa Hospital Association maintains that vaccines are an important tool to combat COVID-19, but we have always believed that Iowa’s hospitals and health systems are best positioned to implement policies or appropriate clinical responses in their communities and should be allowed to do so,” said Chris Mitchell, president and CEO of the Iowa Hospital Association. “Now that the Supreme Court ruling has lifted the ban on the CMS vaccine mandate, we will work with our member hospitals to achieve compliance, recognizing a vaccine requirement has the potential to create additional staffing issues at a time when our workforce is already exhausted by the many demands of COVID-19,” Mitchell said in a press release. The mandate does provide exemptions based on recognized medical conditions or religious beliefs, observances or practices. On Dec. 28, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance extending the compliance deadline of the vaccine mandate to 30 days from the date of a CMS announcement to implement the requirements of the mandate. It’s anticipated CMS will act quickly, and health care organizations will be expected to comply by mid-February.