Emergency management and homeland security are collaborative spaces. Think of these areas a Venn diagram, with overlapping rings. Some of the related professions overlap with each other separately, but all of them overlap in the center. This overlap represents the emergency management and homeland security space. What’s important in this representation is the recognition that emergency managers and homeland security professionals, regardless of what specific agency they may work for, need to have awareness of that shared space and the areas of responsibility of each contributing profession. One of the biggest players in this shared space is public health.
For nearly a year, public health professionals have been talking about new requirements from CMS, which stands for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. How does Medicare and Medicaid impact emergency management? CMS, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) covers over 100 million people across the US – far more than any private insurer. As an arm of HHS and a significant funding stream within public health, they set standards.
The most relevant standard to us is the Final Rule on Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers. The rule establishes consistent emergency preparedness requirements across healthcare providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid with the goal of increasing patient safety during emergencies and establishing a more coordinated response to disasters.
The CMS rule incorporates a number of requirements, which include:
- Emergency planning
- Policies and procedures
- Communications planning with external partners
- Training and exercises
These are all things we would expect from any emergency management standard. Given the different types of facilities and providers, however, the implementation of the CMS rule can be complex. A new publication released by the HHS ASPR (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response) through their TRACIE program (Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange), provides some streamlined references to the CMS rule. It’s a good document to study up on and keep on hand to help keep you aware of the requirements of one of our biggest partners.
© 2017 – Timothy Riecker, CEDP