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REGULATORY REVIEW


Analyzing CMS’ Final Emergency Preparedness Rule In line with ASCA’s comments, accommodations are made for the ASC setting BY NAWA ARSALA


The Centers for Medi- care & Medicaid Services (CMS) accommodated ASCA’s comments in sev- eral ways in its final rule


on Emergency Preparedness Require- ments for Medicare and Medicaid Par- ticipating Providers and Suppliers. The rule establishes national emergency preparedness requirements for Medi- care and Medicaid participating pro- viders and suppliers. It also addresses planning for both natural and man- made disasters and coordinating with federal, state, tribal, regional and lo- cal emergency preparedness systems. Covered entities must comply with the regulations by November 16, 2017. The rule is expansive and applies to 11 entities including religious non- medical health care institutions, hos- pices, inpatient psychiatric services for individuals under the age of 21, programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly, hospitals, transplant centers, long-term care facilities, skilled nurs- ing facilities and ASCs. Although the rule applies to multi- ple sites of service, it does not apply uniformly to every setting. As ASCA pointed out in its comments on the proposed rule on this issue, several requirements the proposed rule con- tained were not relevant to ASCs or possible for ASCs to comply with. CMS accommodated those comments in several ways in its final rule. For example, since ASCs do not provide inpatient care, the final rule specifies that ASCs are not required to provide information regarding occupancy. More importantly, unlike hospitals, ASCs are not required to provide for the subsistence needs of their patients and staff during an emergency, example, by supplying food and water.


for 20 ASC FOCUS MARCH 2017


ASCs should be preparing now to ensure that they comply with the Emergency Preparedness Rule by November 16, 2017.”


—Nawa Arsala, ASCA The rule cites the September 11,


2001, terrorist attacks, the subsequent anthrax attacks, the Ebola outbreak, catastrophic hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, flooding in the Midwest and tor- nadoes, as examples of why readiness during public health emergencies needs to be a top priority. Following these events, the push for more orchestrated efforts and cooperation amongst local, state and federal agencies to address emergencies efficiently has increased. The hope is that a comprehensive regu- latory approach will ensure more public health emergency successes.


In a press release, Nicole Lurie,


MD, assistant secretary for prepared- ness and response for the US Depart- ment of Health and Human Services explained the department’s decision to include all sites of service saying, “as people with medical needs are cared for in increasingly diverse settings, disaster preparedness is not only a responsibility of hospitals, but of many other providers and suppliers of health care services. Whether it is trauma care or long-term nursing care or a home health service, patients’ needs for health care don’t stop when disas-


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