New health preparedness rule means withstanding the storm - which means better care for patients and better business for health care providers
Due to recent weather events and impact those storms have had on communities, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has collaborated with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) to improve crisis response within the healthcare sector. To do this, various types of healthcare organizations will be included in this new CMS preparedness rule.
Author: Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Published Date: 9/8/2016 4:11:00 PM
Category: Hospital Preparedness; Public Health Preparedness;
From Hawaii to Louisiana, recent storms have impacted the ability of health care facilities and providers to care for their patients. In Hawaii, power outages and debris left in the wake of a hurricane forced some facilities to close. In Louisiana flooding closed dialysis centers, clinics, doctors’ offices and more. While not as extreme as what we saw eleven years ago when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, the most recent emergencies showcase the continued need and demand for the best possible preparedness and response capabilities, particularly for healthcare providers and residential facilities that care for millions of at-risk populations across our nation.
Disruptions, whether in a home or facility, can rapidly result in life-threatening situations that necessitate evacuation or assistance from another hospital, community-based facility and provider, or a shelter. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) was created to lead HHS and the federal government in responding to the health impacts of disasters, and we know that achieving the best health outcomes following disasters requires planning across the entire continuum of care before a disaster strikes.
Over the years, we have drawn on lessons learned from disasters and collaborated with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve the health care system’s ability to respond to crises, including on the development of a rule modernizing the disaster preparedness of the healthcare sector nationwide, published today.
This marks the beginning of a new era in emergency preparedness for our nation’s health care system—not just for hospitals but for other providers of essential support services. CMS issued this new rule to create a consistent foundation of emergency preparedness across the health care system, ensuring that providers across the spectrum are better positioned to respond to disasters and to ensure continuity of care for some of our most at-risk populations.
These providers include home health services, dialysis centers, long-term care facilities, community mental health centers, rural health clinics, intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, critical-access hospitals, and others which together care for many millions of people across our nation.
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