New Emergency Rule: Challenge for Some, Good for All

New Emergency Rule: Challenge for Some, Good for All

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a comprehensive emergency preparedness rule in 2016 that applies to nearly every healthcare provider in the nation, and outlines steps those providers must take to improve their preparedness and ensure sustainability in the face of a disaster. The rule compels healthcare providers to devote resources – human and fiscal – to emergency planning. This may be seen as burdensome by some but should effectively improve their levels of readiness and improve the quality of healthcare for all. This rule will make providers – from general hospitals to transplant centers and long-term care facilities – safer for patients and visitors.

Justin Snair headshotAlthough most people outside healthcare have little awareness of the rule or its requirements, there are good reasons everyone should understand, as they and their loved ones will benefit from enforcement of the rule. Describing the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria in a November 2017 HomeCare Magazine article, Healthcare Ready Executive Director Nicolette Louissaint wrote, “the devastating and significant impact these events had on health care systems reminds us why it is imperative to have emergency preparedness systems in place to ensure the well-being of patients and providers during a disaster.”

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