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CMS: Test your emergency plans sooner rather than later

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a S&C letter regarding the training and testing components of the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for healthcare providers. The Final Rule is effective November 15, 2017, and by this date, providers must have completed the training and testing exercises required.

The required testing exercise include a “full-scale, community-based exercise” that includes participation of local and/or state emergency agencies or healthcare coalitions to simulate a more realistic scenario, as well as a tabletop exercise. For providers in areas where the local emergency agencies do not have the resources to participate in these community-based exercises, then an individual, facility-based exercise can be substituted. However, documentation of which emergency agencies and/or healthcare coalitions that the provider tried to partner with and why they were unable to participate in the full-scale community exercise must be provided.

CMS notes that many providers may be waiting until the interpretive guidance is released to conduct their training and testing, but it advises against this and states that it is not necessary. So, there’s no reason to wait to develop your Emergency Preparedness Plan now, and to have it tested and your staff trained well ahead of the November 15, 2017 implementation date.

Read the March 24, 2017 CMS S&C letter, “Information to Assist Providers and Suppliers in Meeting the New Training and Testing Requirements of the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare & Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule” (Ref: S&C 17-21-ALL). Not sure where to start, or need help getting your testing done? CMS Compliance Group’s Emergency Preparedness Consultants can help. Simply fill out our contact form or give us a call for more information at 631.692.4422.

CMS has also issued a Save the Date for an MLN Connects National Provider Call for the Emergency Preparedness Requirements Final Rule to be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

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