Emergency management leaders at hospitals and medical centers are grappling with a major rule change from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
CMS finalized a rule it says is intended to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for health-care providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid.
In announcing the rule, CMS specifically mentioned this summer’s flooding in Louisiana, where hospitals struggled to cope with the enormous scope of the emergency. “Situations like the recent flooding in Baton Rouge, La., remind us that in the event of an emergency, the first priority of health-care providers and suppliers is to protect the health and safety of their patients,” CMS Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Conway said in a news release. “Preparation, planning and one comprehensive approach for emergency preparedness is key. One life lost is one too many.”
Officially titled “Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers,” the new regulations must be implemented by November 2017. While CMS has yet to release specific guidelines around many of the new requirements, some in the hospital world believe big changes are coming.