There’s a growing sense of urgency among healthcare providers that must comply with the Congress-approved CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule. And, for good reason. In less than 45 days, 17 different types of facilities receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements must meet certain basic requirements for emergency planning; policies and procedures; communication; and training and testing.

Organizations that don’t measure up may lose vital government funding, which is estimated to account for 30 to 50 percent of total revenue for hospitals and healthcare providers across the U.S. Enforcement surveying is expected to begin almost immediately following the November 15, 2017 deadline. And, it will be rigorous.

  • Facility leadership will be interviewed, and must fully describe their facility’s emergency response program.
  • Written policy and documentation of the emergency preparedness program must be provided.
  • Hospitals and CAHs (Critical Access Hospitals) must prove an all-hazards approach was taken when developing their programs.

So, where does this leave your organization if it has not taken the necessary steps to comply with the CMS ruling? Or, ready itself for the impending survey? The answer, without the sugar coating, is in a bind.

You simply cannot afford to delay any longer. Round up all key stakeholders, both inside your facility and within your community, as soon as possible. Review your existing emergency operations plan (EOP), and its supporting policies and procedures. Think and talk “worst-case,” as you must be prepared for every possible scenario. Conduct a tabletop exercise, at a minimum, or a full-scale one, if doable. Note critical gaps and collectively work to fill them. And, above all else, document, document, document.

Adherence to the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule may sound like a daunting task. But, it doesn’t have to be. Online planning software, like that provided by BOLDplanning, can ease the burden of creating and maintaining a comprehensive, actionable and fully compliant EOP. And, if implemented now, it can do so before the looming November 15, 2017 deadline.

Learn more about the rule and BOLDplanning by downloading the company’s latest White Paper, CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule: 10 Reasons Why You Need Online Planning Software for Better Compliance.