Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Bob Casey (D-PA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) yesterday released for public comment through May 4 draft legislation to reauthorize the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, currently set to expire Sept. 30. Among other provisions, the bill would reauthorize the Hospital Preparedness Program and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program through 2023. It also would require the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate existing performance measures, benchmarks and standards for the HPP and PHEP programs; develop guidelines for regional systems of hospitals and other facilities of varying capabilities to treat patients and increase surge capacity during public health emergencies; and prioritize HPP grants to entities that enhance coordination among facilities in a regional public health emergency system. In addition, the legislation would encourage HHS to coordinate critical supplies to affected areas and states to allow licensure of medical professionals across state lines during an emergency; and reauthorize the Emergency System for Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, Medical Reserve Corps and Strategic National Stockpile. In other preparedness news, The Joint Commission has added new resources to its emergency management portal.

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