Emergency Preparedness Rule: New Requirements Medicare/Medicaid Providers Must Adhere to

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All Medicare/Medicaid Providers will have to have the New Emergency Preparedness Requirements by November 15, 2017. Surveyors are currently being trained to know what will be considered passing survey or failing regarding the Emergency Preparedness Requirements. Any Medicare/Medicaid Provider not in compliance with the New Regulations will be cited for non-compliance and must follow standard procedure for correcting the deficiencies. As part of the new requirements each state will be given guidelines on the requirements.
Right now from my understanding, there are 4 main elements that all home health providers must have in their emergency preparedness programs. These elements must focus on the continuation of operations before during, and after a disaster, all phases must be included.
Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning
Healthcare Providers are required to perform a risk assessment that uses an “all-hazards” assessment before developing and implementing emergency plans. An all-hazards assessment is an approach to emergency preparedness planning that determines capacities, and capabilities of your agency that are critical to preparing for a variety of emergencies or disasters. The risk assessment is used to identify essential components of the emergency plan specific to the agency’s geographic location. Examples emergencies include:
Equipment and power failures due to storms, earthquakes or other Nature-made event
Disruption in communication due to computer viruses or cyber attacks
Disruption in the supply of essentials, such as water and food, and care for your clients or employees
What Policies and Procedures do you have in place?
Healthcare Providers must develop and implement policies and procedures that support the successful implementation of their emergency plans, and address risks identified in risk assessments.
Your Communication Plans
All Providers must develop and maintain emergency preparedness communication plans that now comply with federal and state laws. These plans must include systems in place to contact all staff, clients, client’s treating physicians, Board Members, and other necessary people in a timely manner allowing continuation of patient care in a safe and effective manner with no or very little disruption in care.
Training and Testing
Some providers must also develop and conduct an emergency preparedness training program and practice various scenarios . At a minimum, training and practicing the program must include training for new and existing staff in emergency preparedness procedures as well as annual refresher training for all staff. Staff must demonstrate knowledge of emergency procedures during for the office, at the client’s home and for their own family. Conducting drills and exercises allows agencies to evaluate their emergency plans in order to identify gaps in the plans, and areas for improvement.
Emergency Preparedness Rule: Conclusion for Home Health
These requirements are mandated for Medicare Agencies through the Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and state requirements for most of the US states. CMS has issued interpretive guidelines to assist all healthcare providers to comply.
If you are in need of an Emergency Preparedness Plan Manual, there are several ways for you to obtain great information on EPP. You can visit http://optimalhealthcaresolutions.com/seminars to order your manual Now! If you or your staff need training on Emergency Preparedness Planning you can order the Emergency Preparedness Plan online Training Program at http://marketingwrite.com or, if you are in Colorado you can attend the CDPHE Approved training session in March along with other topics being covered.

To Your Success in 2017,