When disaster strikes, homebound patients are often hit the hardest. Home health and hospice agencies must be ready to continue to provide medically necessary care — no matter what happens. Preparing for the worst means having an actionable plan in place, so now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require agencies to meet new emergency preparedness requirements that are more detailed and comprehensive than ever before.
It is very important that you begin planning now because successful implementation will take significant time, attention, and resources. Emergency preparedness will become a survey priority immediately after the compliance deadline — November 15, 2017. Will you be ready in time?
Here’s a quick rundown of some key facts about the new emergency preparedness rule:
- Home health and hospice providers must comply by November 15, 2017.
- The emergency planning and preparedness rules are part of the Medicare Conditions of Participation.
- Your agency’s emergency preparedness plan should be comprehensive, and it must address a host of planning topics, including security and preservation of information systems and medical records.
- Conducting a full risk assessment is the first step in the planning process.
- Your agency’s plan must prepare you for continuity of operations and service interruptions.
- Compliant plans must address and accommodate a range of patient risk levels, including high-, medium-, and low-risk patients.
- Every agency is obligated to develop a set of policies and procedures that will supplement the emergency plan.
- Each program must include a communications plan, which must outline coordination of patient care with local, state, and federal officials.
- Your agency must develop and implement staff training and testing exercises as part of your program.
Want to learn more about the emergency preparedness rule?
Download this free tip sheet, written by industry thought leader, Sharon Harder, President of C3 Advisors, LLC:
Tip Sheet: 10 Things Your Need to Know About the New Emergency Preparedness Rule