JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ballad Health will have to comply with a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate following a Supreme Court ruling Thursday.

While the court rejected the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers, it will allow a vaccine mandate for most health care workers in the U.S.

Ballad has expressed concern about how the mandate would impact staffing at its facilities. The health system sent a letter to federal officials earlier this month with recommendations if the Supreme Court were to permit the mandate to move forward.

After Thursday’s ruling, Ballad Health issued this statement:

On January 3, Ballad Health submitted a letter to the administrator of the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlining our concerns with a sweeping federally imposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. In it, Ballad Health also provided recommendations to CMS in the event the United States Supreme Court were to permit the mandate moving forward. 

We hope CMS will take our recommendations into serious consideration. In the meantime, it is clear that Ballad Health must comply with the Medicare Conditions of Participation or risk leaving hundreds of thousands of people insured through the Medicare and Medicaid program in our region without access to their trusted healthcare providers.

Ballad Health will take the appropriate steps to allow its team members to request religious or medical exemptions in compliance with federal law, and will comply with the Medicare Conditions of Participation, including the requirement that team members, and anyone interacting with our hospitals, be vaccinated.

Ballad Health statement