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Center for Medicare/Medicaid Emergency Preparedness Guidelines

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid, increase patient safety during emergencies, and establish a more coordinated response to natural and human caused disasters. 

The rule was published on September 16, 2016 and is effective as of November 15, 2016. The regulations must be implemented by affected entities by November 15, 2017. This rule applies to 17 provider/types as a condition of participation for CMS. The providers/suppliers are required to meet four core elements with specific requirements adjusted based on the individual characteristics of each provider and supplier.

For additional information on CMS Preparedness Rule.  


Facilities must perform a risk assessment that uses an "all hazards" approach prior to establishing an emergency plan.  The assessment includes hazards likely in a geographic area, care-related emergencies, equipment and power failures, interruptions in communications, loss of all or a portion of facility, and loss of all or a portion of supplies.  The all-hazards risk assessment will be used to identify essential components to be intergrated into the facility's emergency plan. 

In addition, per the Omnibus Reduction Final Rule, CMS has modified the following:

  • Inpatient and outpatient facilities are required to conduct a biennial review of their emergency programs instead of an annual review. However, long term facilities are still required to review their emergency program annually.
  • Emergency plans are no longer required to include documentation of efforts to contact local, tribal, regional, state and federal emergency preparedness officials and a facility’s participation in collaborative and cooperative planning efforts.
  • Assessment and development of an integrated all-hazards plan should include emerging infectious disease (EID) threats such as Ebola and Zika Virus.