On September 16, 2016, the final rule on Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers was published (Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 180). This rule affects all 17 provider and supplier types eligible for participation in Medicare. The rule becomes effective on November 15, 2016. However, health care providers and suppliers affected by this rule have until November 15, 2017 to implement the new requirements and be in full compliance. Surveyors will begin evaluating the new requirements after November 15, 2017.
Interpretive guidelines and survey procedures will be developed and are anticipated to be published in the spring of 2017 according to CMS. In the mean- time CMS has published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the emergency preparedness regulations. Some of the topics addressed by the FAQs are:
- Documentation requirements
- Survey process requirements
- Testing and training
- Risk assessment and documentation
- Transfer agreements and coordination required
- Life Safety Code
CMS states that FAQs will be updated on a continuous basis.
- CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule FAQs October 2016
- CMS Emergency Preparedness Final Rule FAQs November 2016