Healthcare

Dameron Hospital Completes Mid-term COOP Planning Workshop

It’s been another busy week at BOLDplanning, as team members James Woulfe and Cassandra Wolff, traveled to Stockton, California, to meet with the staff of Dameron Hospital.

Dameron Hospital is a fully accredited, 200+ bed, non-profit community hospital with specialized acute and tertiary care. The reason for the visit from BOLDplanning was to conduct all-important, mid-term workshops pertaining to the facility’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). And, the timing was impeccable as the region is now contending with some of the worst wildfires in the state’s history.

As partners in the continuity planning process, BOLDplanning and Dameron Hospital are working to create and maintain a true culture of emergency preparedness. Thank you, Dameron Hospital, for the opportunity to assist with your organizational planning needs, and to play a role in the continued care and well-being of your many patients.

Oakhurst Medical Centers Prepares for CMS Audit, Partners with BOLDplanning to Improve Emergency Preparedness

Healthcare facilities and their staff play a key role in emergency preparedness efforts for all types of events, including natural or man-made disasters, pandemic outbreaks or terrorist attacks. The availability of healthcare is essential to accommodate the surge in demand for providing care related to any emergency. Still, many facilities struggle with the process of developing, maintaining and testing their emergency and continuity plans (ECPs) due to a lack of time and resources.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Rule for CMS Preparedness

Since the passing and implementation of the CMS Emergency Preparedness (EP) Rule, numerous healthcare organizations across the country have been diligently working to improve their crisis readiness and response capabilities. They know that come audit time (and it will eventually roll around), failure to comply with the ruling could spell serious trouble. Financial trouble, that is, as they could possibly lose vital Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

The CMS EP Rule covers four core elements of emergency preparedness. These are 1) Risk Assessment and Emergency Planning, 2) Communications, 3) Policies and Procedures, and 4) Training and Testing. It’s a safe bet to say that all 17 facility types identified in the ruling will be questioned on each of these areas at audit time, so preparation (and understanding) is key.

Oakhurst Medical Centers Chooses BOLDplanning

Just ask facilities like Oakhurst Medical Centers in Atlanta, Georgia, which looked outside its walls for assistance with meeting its new emergency planning obligations. There, staff and members of the BOLDplanning team, have collaborated to bolster the centers’ ECP in preparation for the impending CMS audit. And, if all goes accordingly, they should pass with flying colors.

“With the implementation of CMS guidelines, we had to enhance our safety management plan and processes,” says Billie Inclan, Director of HR/Safety & Risk Officer for Oakhurst Medical Centers. “The BOLDplanning platform made this process seamless. Its readiness features (SMS text, email, delegating authority) are very detailed without being cumbersome. Together, as a team, internally and including our BOLDplanning partners, we managed to create and share our facility plans with the staff almost effortlessly.”

As part of a larger primary care association, Georgia Primary Care Association (GPCA)— formerly known as GAPHC)—Oakhurst Medical Centers was not the only system to benefit from the ECP project. Other GPCA facilities throughout the state did as well. At BOLDplanning, we believe this association’s work to improve emergency preparedness and to comply with the CMS Rule is an exemplary model for other healthcare coalitions and primary care associations (PCAs) to follow. As always, we welcome the opportunity to share it with you as your healthcare organization prepares for its looming CMS audit.

Featured Content: CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule–Compliance Made Faster, Easier and More Effective

Does your healthcare organization accept Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements? Or, does your emergency management agency have plans that involve healthcare providers?

Only months ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a ruling outlining significant preparedness planning requirements. Providers who don’t sufficiently comply place themselves at risk of receiving fines, or potentially losing a crucial revenue stream.

Download BOLDplanning’s featured resource to learn more about the CMS Final Rule and how to make the preparedness planning process faster, easier and better.

BOLDplanning Continues Its Work With Florida Healthcare Organizations

BOLDplanning team members Carlin Alford and James Woulfe recently conducted two days of Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) development workshops for member healthcare organizations of the Central Florida Disaster Medical Coalition (CFDMC).

Each participating member is preparing to meet the new emergency preparedness standards for healthcare organizations which includes Continuity as well as Emergency plans. BOLDplanning is honored to be working on the front lines of a changing industry with dedicated and innovative healthcare professionals.

Master the Disaster Welcomes Top Federal Officials

BOLDplanning was thrilled to be invited to participate in Master the Disaster, a conference hosted by the Ventura County (CA) Health Care Agency. Among the notable speakers were former FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Sorino and Deputy Director Robert Ruiz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Thank you Ventura County for being a great Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Emergency Operations Planning (EOP) customer.

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule: Is Your Healthcare Organization Compliant?

Now that the November 15, 2017 deadline for compliance with the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule has passed, what’s next? Will surveyors come knocking at your healthcare facility’s door? Could your organization soon lose its Medicare and/or Medicaid funding if it does not meet the ruling’s basic requirements for an Emergency Plan, Policies and Procedures, Communications, and Training and Testing?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is also yes. These things could happen, but probably not right away.

It seems unlikely that CMS will be sending surveyors out into the field to check for compliance with the Congress-approved ruling specifically. Surveys will most likely take place during the normal survey cycle, which, as Medicare- and Medicaid-funded providers know, varies based on the type of facility. As such, CMS’ visit (and their questions about adherence) should come as no surprise, and may not come in the near term.

Neither should the growing need for an all-hazards, community-based approach to emergency preparedness. Now, more than ever, healthcare facilities should ready themselves for natural and man-made disasters. This is especially true of localized threats, such as hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other mass-casualty incidents.

Regardless of where your healthcare facility is in the emergency planning process, BOLDplanning can help. Serving a variety of public and private sector organizations across the country, including hospitals and public health facilities, BOLDplanning specializes in online planning solutions for Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs) and Business Continuity Plans (BCPs).

Download BOLDplanning’s latest White Paper, CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule: 10 Reasons Why You Need Online Planning Software for Better Compliance to learn more. It’s a quick read and may prove useful as your healthcare facility readies itself for a visit from CMS surveyors.

 

AHEPP 2017: Looking Back, Planning Ahead

The annual AHEPP (Association of Hospital Emergency Preparedness Professionals) conference may be over, but the excitement certainly continues. Attendees and exhibitors keep sharing pics from the event on Facebook and Twitter. And, conversations about the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule and other hot topics are expanding.

In fact, since returning home from Dallas, Texas, BOLDplanning representatives, Rick Wimberly and John Taylor, have received numerous inquiries about the company’s online planning solutions for Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs). Many who saw demos of the products while at the conference say they “had no idea such a great planning tool even existed,” or that they “never thought continuity planning could be so simple.” And, now, thanks to AHEPP 2017, their healthcare organizations, like so many others across the country, may implement BOLDplanning soon.

Congratulations to Randy from East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Alabama. He won the Parrot Bebop 2 drone given away by BOLDplanning. Enjoy!

Also, special thanks to Caecilia Blondioux with CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) for a very timely keynote presentation on the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule. It was an honor for BOLDplanning to introduce Caecilia and to sponsor the session. Great information all around, especially with the November 15 deadline for compliance now just two days away.

“10 out of 10 stars,” is what many are saying about AHEPP 2017 (and BOLDplanning agrees). The content was meaningful, the tabletop exercises were beneficial, and the camaraderie was exceptional.

As we all look forward to next year’s conference, let’s continue to support AHEPP in its mission of moving preparedness forward! Visit www.ahepp.org to learn more about the association and its work to provide healthcare preparedness professionals with the best range of strategic, educational, operational, networking, and planning resources they need to learn, to lead, and to succeed.

And, email info@boldplanning.com for more information on the company’s online, CMS-compliant planning solutions.

See you at AHEPP 2018!

 

AHEPP 2017: A Word from the Floor

It might be cold and rainy in Dallas, Texas today, but it’s hot inside the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas! Here, hundreds of hospital administrators, emergency preparedness coordinators, RNs and other healthcare professionals are attending AHEPP 2017, an annual event sponsored by the Association of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professionals.

As expected, everyone (presenters, attendees and vendors alike) are talking about the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, which takes effect next week – November 15, 2017. A number of conference sessions are aimed at helping healthcare organizations receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding meet the ruling’s four basic requirements for Emergency Plan, Policies and Procedures, Communications, and Training and Testing.

Among these sessions is today’s keynote presentation (4-5 pm CDT, Salon D,E,F) to be given by Caecilia Blondioux of CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and sponsored by BOLDplanning, a leader in online planning software, including Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and Continuity of Operations Plans (COOPs). BOLDplanning is also exhibiting on the conference floor and holding a drawing for a personal drone.

Aside from connecting with peers, everyone looks to be enjoying (and learning from) the many activities, including the tabletop exercises, that are currently underway.

Folks are also being urged to “tweet up a storm,” by following @AHEPP1 and using the hashtag AHEPP2017, as prizes will be awarded to conference attendees with the most tweets. (Who says social media is all bad?)

That’s the word from the floor at AHEPP 2017.

 

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule: Countdown to Compliance Less Than 10 Days

If your healthcare organization is like many across the U.S., this date has been circled on the calendar ever since the Congress-approved CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule took effect this time last year. And, for good reason. By not complying with the ruling, you might  lose crucial Medicare and Medicaid funding, which could prove disastrous for your government-supported facility.

With less than ten days to go, where do you stand with meeting the four basic requirements – Emergency Plan, Policies and Procedures, Communications, and Training and Testing – as identified in the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule? Hopefully, A-OK, as compliance surveying is slated to begin almost immediately.

Ask yourself these important questions before someone else does:

  • Does our Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), as required by The Joint Commission, cover all potential hazards, i.e., natural and human-caused?
  • Have we done everything possible to mitigate the risks to patient safety and the continuity of operations in an emergency? And, can we prove if challenged by surveyors, patients, patient families, the community, or the media, as in the case of the Hollywood Hills, FL facility post Hurricane Irma?
  • Can we communicate the key elements of our EOP to others, especially the compliance surveyors who will surely come?
  • Is our EOP fully tested, documented and up to date? And, are there measures in place to review and revise it on a regular basis?
  • Is our EOP available to key stakeholders and/or surveyors at a moment’s notice?

If you cannot answer yes to all of these questions, your healthcare facility may have a problem. And, unfortunately, there may not be enough time to correct it before the November 15 deadline.

Stop procrastinating and review the requirements of the ruling now. Call an emergency meeting to discuss your facility’s EOP, and invite your local healthcare coalition to take part. Test what you can as fast as you can, but know that a full-scale, or even tabletop exercise, may not be feasible at this late juncture.

Make notations for improvement to the existing EOP, as these (at a minimum) will demonstrate that you’re actively working toward compliance. Last, but not least, cross your fingers that your facility is not among the first to be surveyed, as you will probably fall short and face the consequences. Hopefully, these consequences will not prove to be too costly before you can get your facility up to speed with the ruling.

A quick download of of BOLDplanning’s latest White Paper, CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule: 10 Reasons Why You Need Online Planning Software for Better Compliance, may prove helpful as well.

BOLDplanning, currently the emergency planning vendor of choice to more than 9,300 public and private sector organizations nationwide, is assisting healthcare organizations like yours comply with the ruling and achieve the highest degree of readiness possible. Need help now? Just email info@boldplanning.com.

 

Commitment is essential…

Commitment is essential to our mission of delivering top flight emergency planning services to our clients. Working in a hotel lobby, BOLDplanning team members prepare for plan development workshops late into the evening to make our client trainings as detailed and effective as possible.
Our training today was for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Georgia preparing to comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Emergency Preparedness Final Rule. Our cloud based Emergency And Continuity Plan (ECP) for healthcare delivers powerful results, important for organizations charged with caring for our country’s most vulnerable populations.
Pictured is BOLDplanning Operations Manager Will Minkoff and BOLDplanning Global Solutions team member Cathleen Atchison.