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News: WISCA

State Reviews Changes to CMS Preparedness Rules

Friday, September 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
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September 21, 2018, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

In response to an overall federal effort to reduce regulations on facilities, CMS issued a proposed rule on 9/17. Among the things that could change with this proposed rule are parts of the CMS emergency preparedness rule. The press release discussing it can be found at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-and-medicaid-programs-proposed-regulatory-provisions-promote-program-efficiency-0 .

The relevant text directly from the rule is below. The process with proposed rules usually involves a comment period, an analysis period, and then ultimately, publication, and that can take months or even years (it was 2-3 years for the EP rule itself), so we don’t need to be taking action right now, but in case you hear or are asked about it, it would benefit you to be aware of the proposed changes.

 

Relevant Rule Text: 

g. Emergency Preparedness Requirements: Requirements for Annual Review of Emergency Program On September 16, 2016, we finalized a rule imposing emergency preparedness requirements on most Medicare and Medicaid facilities (Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers, 81 FR 63860). Facilities participating in Medicare and/or Medicaid are now required, among other things, to review their emergency preparedness programs annually. This includes a review of their emergency plans, policies and procedures, communication plans, and training and testing programs. We propose to revise these requirements, so that applicable providers and suppliers have increased flexibility with compliance.

h. Emergency Preparedness Requirements: Requirements for Training As with the review of the emergency plan previously discussed, we propose to revise the requirement that facilities develop and maintain a training program based on the facility’s emergency plan annually. Instead, we would require that facilities provide training biennially (every 2 years) after facilities conduct initial training for their emergency program. In addition, we propose to require additional training when the emergency plan is significantly updated.

i. Emergency Preparedness Requirements: Requirements for Testing For inpatient providers, we propose to expand the types of acceptable testing exercises that may be conducted such that one of the two annually required testing exercises may be an exercise of their choice, which may include one community-based full-scale exercise, if available, an individual facility-based functional exercise, a drill, or a tabletop exercise or workshop that includes a group discussion led by a facilitator. For outpatient providers, we propose to revise the requirement such that only one testing exercise is required annually, which may be either one community-based full-scale exercise, if available, or an individual facility-based functional exercise, every other year and in the opposite years, these providers may chose the testing exercise of their choice which may include a community-based full-scale exercise, if available, a facility-based functional exercise, a drill, or a tabletop exercise or workshop that includes a group discussion led by a facilitator.

p. Emergency Preparedness Requirements: Requirements for Emergency Plans We propose to eliminate part of the requirement from § 482.15(a)(4) for hospitals and other parallel provisions for other affected Medicare and Medicaid providers and suppliers (referred to collectively as ‘‘facilities,’’ throughout the remainder of this proposed rule where applicable), that facilities document efforts to contact local, tribal, regional, State, and Federal emergency preparedness officials, and that facilities document their participation in collaborative and cooperative planning efforts. In accordance with the remaining requirement at § CMS-3346-P 15 482.15(a)(4), facilities would still be required to include a process for cooperation and collaboration with local, tribal, regional, State and Federal emergency preparedness officials’ efforts to maintain an integrated response during a disaster or emergency situation. Only the documentation requirements would be eliminated.


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