Have you heard? CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Effective November, 2017

Volume: 2017

Issue: 5

Date: 5/1/2017

By Connie Dyke Christian, MBA, CPHRM
Facility Risk Management & Patient Safety Advisor

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule was effective November 16, 2016, with an implementation date of November 16, 2017. The rule requires emergency preparedness planning as a Condition of Participation for those providers receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds. The goal of the rule is to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements, improve patient safety during emergencies and establish a coordinated response to both natural and man-made disasters such as severe weather, earthquakes, wildfires, infectious epidemics and homeland security threats.

CMS has identified three key essentials for maintaining continued access to healthcare during an emergency: safeguarding human resources, maintaining business continuity, and protecting physical resources.  

The four core elements of the rule include:

  1. Address your facility’s risk assessment (different from the HIPAA/HITECH risk assessment) and emergency planning by using an “all-hazards” approach to mitigate risk. 
  2. Develop and implement policies and procedures that support the execution of the emergency plan.
  3. Establish a communication plan.
  4. Provide a well-organized training program, including annual refresher programs.
Those entities required to comply with the Emergency Preparedness rule include:
  • Religious Nonmedical Health Care Institutions (RNHCI)
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC)
  • Hospices
  • Inpatient Psychiatric Services for individuals under age 21 in Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTF)
  • Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Hospitals
  • Transplant Centers
  • Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities
  • Nursing Facilities (NF)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID)
  • Home Health Agencies (HHA)
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (CORF)
  • Critical Access Hospitals (CAH)
  • Clinics, Rehabilitation Agencies and Public Health Agencies as Providers of Outpatient Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology Services
  • Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC)
  • Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO)
  • Rural Health Clinics (RHC)
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)
  • End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities
With implementation on the horizon in November, 2017, there are only six months to finalize Emergency Operations plans, determine communication methods, acquire additional equipment and train staff. KaMMCO encourages insureds to review the resources available for a successful implementation. 

Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers final rule: www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/09/16/2016-21404/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-emergency-preparedness-requirements-for-medicare-and-medicaid

Downloadable plans and procedures - US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Care Emergency Preparedness Information Gateway: https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/

Downloadable Quick Reference Table - CMS Emergency Preparedness Requirements by Provider Type: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertEmergPrep/Downloads/EP-Rule-Table-Provider-Type.pdf

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Emergency Preparedness Grant Program for Hospitals and Health Agencies: http://www.kdheks.gov/cphp/index.htm

KaMMCO Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Checklist for Physician Practices. www.KaMMCO.com Member Services, Resources and Tools, Sample Policies and Forms.