CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Guidance

Health care providers will need to complete any changes necessary to meet the new emergency preparedness requirements by November as required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) or risk citations for non-compliance.

CMS issued two Survey and Certification (S&C) memos recently stating that many organizations have asked whether the training exercises included in its 2016 emergency preparedness rule need to be completed by the November 15, 2017 rule implementation date. CMS said in an S&C memo that health care providers and suppliers affected by this rule must comply and implement all regulations by November 15, 2017 and that organizations who do not meet the requirements will be cited for non-compliance.

CMS said in the memo that health care providers should "seek out and to participate in a full-scale, community-based exercise with their local and/or state emergency agencies and health care coalitions and to have completed a tabletop exercise by the implementation date."

CMS noted that not all agencies and coalitions may be able to work with all health care organizations in their area by the November deadline. When full-scale, community-based exercises are not possible, CMS said facilities should complete an individual facility-based exercise and document the reasons why a larger community exercise was not possible. Documentation should include the emergency agencies or health care coalitions contacted and specific reasons why the full-scale exercise was not possible, CMS said.

To help health care organizations meet the requirements of the emergency preparedness rule, CMS is also providing resources for health care providers. Online resources include state-by-state listings of health care coalitions, links to emergency preparedness agencies, and emergency preparedness checklists.

Also, CMS said in another S&C memo that it will be holding a conference call on April 27 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the emergency planning rule and the training and testing requirements. Space on the call may be limited, so ASHE encourages members interested in this information to register as soon as possible.

ASHE resources related to the CMS emergency preparedness rule, including a webinar recording available only to ASHE members, are available on the ASHE website. ASHE will continue to keep members updated on the latest developments with the CMS emergency preparedness rule.


The American Society for Healthcare Engineering
A personal membership group of the American Hospital Association
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