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Hospital Disaster Plans Mandated Under Proposed U.S. Regulations — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 13, 2014

Hospital Disaster Plans Mandated Under Proposed U.S. Regulations

By Joe Elia

Proposed disaster-preparedness regulations for U.S. health care facilities are meeting resistance from those who question the accuracy of first-year price estimates of $225 million, the New York Times reports.

Proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in late December, the rules would cover more than 68,000 institutions — any entity that is a Medicare or Medicaid service provider, including large hospitals and group homes.

The rules would require that the providers draw up plans that take into account the particular disasters most likely to occur in their area. Also key would be provisions for better communication among area hospitals, public health departments, and emergency systems.

Asked to comment Kristi L. Koenig, a disaster medicine expert with NEJM Journal Watch, wrote: "As key community-resilience partners, hospitals can't afford to plan in isolation. In the light of recent events, some of which required hospital evacuations, we need to ask ourselves, what's the cost of not preparing?”

Reader Comments (1)

Dr. Kelly Gardiner Other Healthcare Professional, Psychiatry, CMH

They need to have people assigned to care for loved ones of hospital staff whether it be a phone call to check on them and/or pick them up and take them to safety. Otherwise, in disasters, staff will go home to family members in need first. I'm referring to very severe disasters. There needs to be a plan for loved ones of workers so they stay and do their jobs.

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