CMS: Don't wait to plan emergency preparedness training exercises

Share this content:

Healthcare providers will be expected to meet the training and testing requirements included in the recent emergency preparedness final rule by its implementation date of Nov. 15, 2017, according to recently released guidance.

In a memo published Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services encouraged providers to plan “full-scale, community-based” training exercises sooner than later, in order to avoid being cited for non-compliance once the rule is in place. The agency said it had heard that some providers are holding out for the release of interpretive guidance, which “is not necessary nor is it advised.”

“We understand that a full-scale, community-based exercise may not always be possible for some providers and suppliers,” the memo reads. “In such cases, we expect those who have been unable to complete a full-scale exercise by November 15, 2017 to complete an individual facility-based exercise and document the circumstances as to why a full-scale, community-based exercise was not completed.”

To help with planning training, CMS created a website including checklists, links to emergency preparedness agencies and planning templates. In response to provider and association requests, the agency is also planning a national provider call on the rule and its requirements for April 27.