Last Fall CMS released new rules for emergency preparedness activities.The types of facilities that must comply by November 15, 2017 are wide ranging and include,

  • Community Mental Health Centers;
  • Hospitals;
  • Long-term care facilities;
  • Rural health clinics; and
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers.

In total, there are 17 types of organizations that must comply. Penalties for non-compliance can include loss of Medicaid and Medicare funding.

The Final Rule was intended to be flexible and therefore is not detailed. However, three primary elements of the rule are safeguarding human resources, maintaining business continuity, and protecting physical resources.

Five tasks will need to be completed to fully comply with the new rules,

  • Perform a risk assessment which focuses on the likely risks to the institution;
  • Develop emergency plans based on the risks identified in the risk assessment;
  • Develop communications plans to provide timely notification in times of emergency;
  • Develop policies and procedures to ensure successful execution of emergency plans; and
  • Train staff and test plans to ensure all necessary personnel are prepared to fill their designated role if needed.

This type of planning will take many weeks, if not months, to complete. It is advised that you begin to prepare now in order to be compliant by the November 15, 2017 deadline. Please let us know if you have any questions during your preparation.