CMS Revises Emergency Preparedness Checklist

Friday, April 4, 2014
By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm

On February 28, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its revised emergency preparedness checklist for health care facility planning. Updates to the checklist provide more detailed guidance about patient and resident tracking, supply management, and collaboration with local emergency management agencies and health care coalitions. According to the Survey and Certification Memorandum, the information is current policy and is in effect for all health care facilities.

Click here to read the updated checklist.


What Has Changed?

Highlights of the changes in the new emergency preparedness checklist include:

-  Detailed guidance for patient or resident tracking to include that the facility should have a plan for when a patient or resident is determined to be missing during an evacuation;
-  Quantity of water a facility should transport during an evacuation;
-  Expectation of collaboration with health care coalitions and local emergency personnel;  and
-  Reference to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in  updating existing emergency plans and using FEMA’s best practices and guidance when implementing emergency plans.

CMS previously updated this checklist in October 2007.  

It should be noted that some of the recommended tasks may exceed a facility's minimum Federal regulatory requirements, and some tasks may not be applicable to agencies that provide home health services.


Updated Requirements Now In Effect.


The checklist is current policy and is in effect for all health care facilities.  Applicable state agencies were required to disseminate this information within 30 days.

Health care facilities should make sure they are in compliance with the new emergency preparedness checklist as soon as possible, not only to avoid audits and penalties, but to assure patient safety. If your health care facility needs assistance in verifying compliance with the new checklist, contact an experienced health care attorney to assist.


Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation with Licensed Health Facility Cases.

The Health Law Firm and its attorneys represent licensed health facilities, including assisted living facilities (ALFs), group homes, home health agencies (HHAs), nursing homes, hospices and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), among others, in a number of different matters including incorporation, preparing contracts, defending the facility against malpractice claims, licensing and regulatory matters, administrative hearings, and routine legal advice.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.


Comments?

Did you know about the new emergency preparedness checklist for health care facilities? How are you adapting? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


About the Author: Lenis L. Archer is as attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.


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4/4/2014

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