Congress has passed new legislation, aiming to strengthen nursing homes’ and other providers’ preparation for natural disasters.
Called the “Worst-Case Scenario Hospital Preparedness Act,” the bill was proposed in December in the aftermath of deadly hurricanes hitting Florida and Puerto Rico. It tasks the National Academy of Medicine with analyzing how future natural disasters may affect emergency preparation for nursing homes and other providers.
“The bill is a much needed first step to ensuring that hospitals and long-term care facilities across the nation are more resilient against natural disasters,” Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL), who co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), said in a statement Friday. “Maintaining a high standard of inspection, upkeep and disaster preparedness, especially in places like in my home state of Florida, reduces the future loss of important facilities that many seniors and veterans in my district rely on.”
The study also will give Congress insight into current emergency prep policies, possible new regulations to better address future threats, ways to improve federal grant programs to assist healthcare facilities, and possible updates to guidelines for alternate power systems and clean-water access.