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NEWS.GOV: U.S. calls emergency preparedness an ‘urgent public health issue’

Source: upi.com

  • By: JC Sevcik 
  • Posted on: March. 11, 2014

March. 11 (UPI) — Emergency preparedness is described as an “urgent public health issue” in a proposal issued by the Department of Health and Human Services which aims to regulate disaster plans.

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The proposed rule would impose readiness requirements on 17 different types of facilities — from hospitals to hospices, nursing homes to kidney dialysis centers — intended to prevent interruptions to healthcare during an emergency scenario like those that occurred during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.

The rule — proposed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a subagency of HHS, and open for comment until the end of the month — would make meeting emergency preparedness regulations a requirement for many institutions to continue participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The proposed regulations require facilities to maintain emergency lighting, fire safety systems, sewage and waste disposal, air conditioning and heating during power losses. Facilities will also need to have systems in place to track displaced patients, manage volunteers and provide alternate care sites.

Critics of the regulations claim the proposed $225 million dollar price tag is not enough to cover the costs of updating and retrofitting old systems to meet new requirements. In a member advisory issued in January, the American Hospital Association said HHS “may have significantly underestimated the burden and cost associated with complying with this rule.”

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Updated: March 12, 2014 — 5:54 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 20th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural Missouri, just a few miles from the Big Muddy. Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises. Since 1997, he has provided guidance, authentic government survival history, and commentary on why we all need to get ready for that fateful day in the future, when we have to get our hands dirty and step in to save the day. He is an award winning videographer (2005 Telly Award), has received state and national scholarly recognition (2006 New Century Scholar and All USA Academic Team), and is a natural with computers, technology, gadgets, small furry mammals, and anything on wheels. Rich likes making friends, solving problems, and creating solutions to everyday issues. He doesn't mind mixing things up, when there is a teaching moment ready to happen. As a constitutional conservative, he's staying quite busy these days. The SurvivalRing Radio Show at www.survivalringradio.com will be coming back SOON!

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