The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Friday issued interpretive guidelines for state survey agencies that will evaluate compliance with new emergency preparedness requirements for hospitals and other providers beginning Nov. 15. The final rule, issued last September, requires health care facilities to conduct risk assessments using an all-hazards approach; develop emergency preparedness plans, policies and procedures, including distinct communications plans; and establish training and testing programs. Hospitals, critical access hospitals and long-term care facilities also must have emergency and standby power systems that reflect their emergency plans. For more on the rule, see the earlier AHA Regulatory Advisory for members or visit the CMS website, which includes a surveyor tool.

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