5 things to know about CMS' disaster preparedness guidelines

Healthcare providers must meet CMS' new disaster preparedness requirements in just over a year’s time, sending these facilities into preparation mode, reports The New York Times.

Here are five things to know about the new rule:

1. The goal with the rule is to ensure patient care goes smoothly following a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, and strengthen the provider's ability to deliver services during other types of emergencies, such as pandemics and terrorist attacks, according to the article.

2. The rule has provisions for 17 different provider types, including outpatient surgery sites, physical therapy offices and home health agencies.

3. The majority of healthcare organizations have had to comply with some emergency preparedness requirements to receive accreditation, but that is not the case for all, according to the article. Hundreds of residential psychiatric facilities, nearly 200 community mental health centers, dozens of organ procurement organizations and nearly 4,000 outpatient hospices, for instance, did not have to adhere to such requirements.

4. Under the CMS requirements, organizations will have to meet National Fire Protection Association standards for testing generator equipment and will still plan for what to do if a power loss occurs, the report states.

5. The federal government projects it will cost more than $279 million to put the rule in effect, according to The New York Times.


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