CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also known as CMS, is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Health care providers and suppliers affected by the 2017 “Emergency Preparedness Rule” had until November 16, 2017 to comply and implement all regulations.

Purpose: To establish national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure adequate planning for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordination with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems. The following information will apply upon publication of the final rule:

  • Requirements will apply to all 17 provider and supplier types (see below).
  • Each provider and supplier will have its own set of Emergency Preparedness regulations incorporated into its set of conditions or requirements for certification.
  • Must be in compliance with Emergency Preparedness regulations to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid program. The below sections provide additional information, such as the background and overview of the final rule and related resources.

The 17 Provider and Supplier Types Impacted by the Emergency Preparedness Rule

1. Hospitals
2. Religious Non-medical Health Care Institutions (RNHCIs)
3. Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)
4. Hospices
5. Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs)
6. All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
7. Transplant Centers
8. Long-Term Care (LTC) Facilities
9. Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID)
10. Home Health Agencies (HHAs)
11. Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (CORFs)
12. Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
13. Clinics, Rehabilitation Agencies, and Public Health Agencies as Providers of Outpatient Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology Services
14. Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs)
15. Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs)
16. Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
17. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Facilities

Although CMS does not make any specific recommendations, the rule notes that pagers, Internet, cable, satellite phones, walkie-talkies, and amateur (ham) radio may be part of a facility’s plan.  Amateur radio is the only system that will work in all conditions including cloud cover (satellite phones may not work), no Internet (cable services, email, social media & long distance telephone service will not work), and damage to towers (no cellular phone service or pagers.)  In fact, cellular phone service is so “delicate,” it is not an option to meet the CMS rule!