CMS gives guidance on emergency prep

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By Nov. 15, all providers must have new, enhanced plans to deal with emergencies,  both man-made and natural — like this tornado above — officials warn.
By Nov. 15, all providers must have new, enhanced plans to deal with emergencies, both man-made and natural — like this tornado above — officials warn.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published guidance in June in advance of its final emergency preparedness rule for providers.

The rule, issued last September, applies to all healthcare facilities and will be implemented Nov. 15. Long-term care providers will have to meet additional standards under the rule, such as having emergency and standby power systems. They also must create plans regarding missing residents that could be activated regardless of whether the facility has activated its full emergency plan.

CMS shared an advanced copy June 2 of a new Appendix Z for the State Operations Manual pertaining to emergency preparedness. The final version will “vary slightly” from the advanced copy, CMS officials said.

The agency had previously urged providers not to put off planning their emergency training exercises until the guidance was released.