In September of 2016 the Federal Register announced a new regulation: Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers. This regulation was created in order to ensure that every healthcare provider has implemented an emergency preparedness plan for both natural and man-made disasters. Failure to implement an Emergency Action Plan  (EAP) by November 16, 2017 will result in a violation fine.

 

Why is the Emergency Preparedness Rule Necessary?

Due to emergencies being so unpredictable, it’s important for all businesses (not just healthcare facilities) to have an adequate EAP that covers any potential emergency or disaster. However, now more than ever, healthcare facilities should be focusing on business continuity awareness and why they need an EAP, aside from just remaining compliant.

Healthcare facilities are the resting spot for a lot of sensitive material, as well as patients who are sick and might be unable to get themselves out of harm’s way during an emergency. When patients go to a healthcare facility, they are relying on that facility to be a safe environment for them. When a hospital or other healthcare facility lacks proper safety plans, it can cost patients, visitors and even staff their lives.

In addition, failure to implement an Emergency Action Plan can also become costly for the healthcare provider. Anthem is a great example: Back in 2015 Anthem was the victim of a massive cybersecurity breach involving 80 million people due to lack of a more strategic, risk management approach. The case ended up settling for $1.7 million. Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report stated that over one-third of businesses who were victims of a cybersecurity breach last year claimed that it lost them at least 20 per cent in revenues.

 

Who is Impacted by the New Regulation?  

  • Hospitals                                                                                         
  • Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)
  • Religious Nonmedical Healthcare Institutions (RNHCIs)
  • Hospices
  • Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilitates (PRTFs)
  • All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Transplant Centers
  • Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities
  • Home Health Agencies (HHAs) and more.

To read the full list of the healthcare providers and suppliers who are required to follow the new rules and regulations, click here.

 

What Should the Emergency Plan Include?

Each provider and supplier will have different requirements. For the large majority, each facility must have an EAP in place that includes a plan for all natural disasters and human-caused disasters. There should also be a communication plan that must be reviewed annually and complies with both federal and state laws. In addition, there should be a system to track on-duty staff and sheltered patients during the emergency and various testing programs and training programs for all employees.

For a full list of what will be required for each provider, click here.

 

How Preparis Can Help

If you are part of those who will have to meet the new requirements and have yet to begin working on your plans – Preparis can help.  Creating an EAP is difficult and time consuming, especially for busy healthcare professionals who lack the time to write, test and maintain a plan. Preparis has an Audit-Ready Package that is able to meet all of your needs, while also ensuring that you meet the requirements for HIPAA and the upcoming Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers.

Preparis’ experts are able to create and maintain all of your plans to ensure that you and your clients are prepared and able to effectively respond to any crisis. Preparis can also provide your organization with a wide array of trainings such as workplace violence, natural disasters, cybersecurity and more.

To read more about what Preparis does for the healthcare industry, click here.

If you would like to learn more about the resources Preparis offers, click here.

 

Creative Digital Marketing Assistant