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New CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Puts More Pressure on Health Care Organizations

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The time is now for thousands of healthcare organizations in the U.S. to fully engage in the stated requirements for Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule, which goes live on November 15th 2017. Readiness Associates (RA)  has begun to reach out to key partners with the goal to support the 17 provider and supplier types that fall under this rule. RA will work with our clients to review and establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for all healthcare providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid.

The goal: All identified organizations need to increase patient safety during emergencies, and establish a more coordinated responses to natural and human caused disasters. Requirements include:

1. Emergency plan—Develop an emergency plan based on a risk assessment and using an “all-hazards” approach, which will provide an integrated system for emergency planning that focuses on capacities and capabilities.

2. Policies and procedures—Develop and implement policies and procedures based on the emergency plan and risk assessment that are reviewed and updated at least annually. For hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities, the policies and procedures must address the provision of subsistence needs, such as food, water and medical supplies, for staff and residents, whether they evacuate or shelter in place.

3. Communication plan—Develop and maintain an emergency preparedness communication plan that complies with federal, state and local laws. Patient care must be coordinated within the facility, across healthcare providers, and with state and local public health departments and emergency management systems to protect patient health and safety in the event of a disaster.

4. A training and testing program—Develop and maintain training and testing programs, including initial training in policies and procedures. Facility staff will have to demonstrate knowledge of emergency procedures and provide training at least annually. Facilities must conduct drills and exercises to test the emergency plan or participate in an actual incident that tests the plan.

mjb | RA