Home Health Providers Must Have Emergency Plans in Place by November

Emergency Preparedness Implementation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new rule “Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers went into effect on November 16, 2016. With a year to obtain compliance, home health and other providers now only have a few months left to get their ducks in a row and implement these regulations.

Attention all home health administrators, clinical managers, quality assurance personnel and field staff: You need to have certain conditions met before November 16, 2017, or you will be out of compliance.

Time’s Not on Your Side

Surveyors could show up to evaluate your emergency preparedness plan on November 15, 2017. To be prepared, home health providers must know how to take care of patients during an emergency and at the same time meet Medicare’s conditions for participation.

In addition, home health providers must have the proper training and testing in place by November, too. Home health agencies that are out of compliance face deficiencies and possibly even sanctions. CMS recently updated its home health conditions of participation, so agencies have a lot on their plates right now. There’s no room for error!

Put Your Plan In Place

Your preparedness training must include creating a plan for how you will meet patient needs during an emergency, including a natural or man-made disaster. Hurricanes, floods, fire and bioterrorism aren’t pleasant to think about, but they are a potential reality which, in the event of an incident, can cause a breakdown of your services.

Consider this: Do you currently maintain an inventory of supplies and equipment to continue providing care and services to your clients for 3 to 10 days? That’s just one of the many details you need to put into place. You can read more about the final rule here.

As you consider the steps you need to put in place for a proper emergency preparedness plan, including training and testing, be sure to stay on top of the following tasks to be in compliance:

  • Mandatory items to include in your policies
  • Establishing a communication infrastructure contingency
  • Designing a safe evacuation and shelter-in-place plan
  • Create a timeline for emergency preparedness implementation
  • Prepare for an all hazards disaster drill


Get The Training You Need to Be Prepared

If you feel like a mighty disaster is looming over your head, take a deep breath because you don’t have to figure this out on your own. ProfEdOnDemand’s live webinar “Preparing For the November Emergency Preparedness Implementation” with industry veteran J’non Griffin, RN MHA WCC, HCS-D, HCS-C, HCS-H, COS-C, can help. In this interactive session, J’non will discuss the criteria for properly implementing an effective emergency preparedness plan and teach you what you need to do to be prepared to take care of your patients during an emergency. You’ll walk away with all the information you need about activities to meet the new rule and conditions of participation.

To join the conference or see a replay, order a DVD or transcript, or read more

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