On September 16, 2016, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) published a final rule on emergency preparedness for healthcare providers. The rule serves to establish national, consistent emergency preparedness requirements for 17 different providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid, and is a major development in healthcare and public health preparedness.
What you need to know
This final rule requires 17 different providers and suppliers types participating in Medicare and Medicaid to meet the following four common and well known industry best practice standards.
1. Emergency plan:
Based on a risk assessment, develop an emergency plan using an all-hazards approach focusing on capacities and capabilities that are critical to preparedness for a full spectrum of emergencies or disasters specific to the location of a provider or supplier.
2. Policies and procedures:
Develop and implement policies and procedures based on the plan and risk assessment.
3. Communication plan:
Develop and maintain a communication plan that complies with both Federal and State law. Patient care must be well-coordinated within the facility, across health care providers, and with State and local public health departments and emergency systems.
4. Training and testing program:
Develop and maintain training and testing programs, including initial and annual trainings, and conduct drills and exercises or participate in an actual incident that tests the plan.
The regulation went into effect on November 16, 2016. Health care providers and suppliers affected by this rule must comply and implement all regulations one year after the effective date, on November 16, 2017.
An advanced copy of the Interpretive Guidelines (IGs) was released on June 2, 2017 and is available here.