Monday, September 12, 2016
On September 8, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released final rule RIN 0938-AO91, "Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers". The press release from CMS announcing the rule is available here.
The rule lists four best practice standards that providers must follow: developing an emergency plan, creating a communications plan, having a training program, and developing appropriate policies and procedures. During the public comment phase of the rule, several organizations expressed concerns over the cost of developing the plans required, which CMS estimated would cost around $225 million and impact 83,000 providers. Some commenters believed this cost estimate was lower than what the actual cost will be. The final rule includes additional flexibility in annual testing from what was originally proposed, and also removes requirements for extra generator testing. Additionally, it permits a separately certified facility within a healthcare system to take part in the system's unified emergency preparedness program.
CMS has also updated its emergency preparedness rule website with guidance and resources. That website is here.