There is a saying that goes like this ... "the only thing harder than planning for a disaster is explaining why you did not."
On September 8, 2016, CMS published in the Federal Register the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule. this became effective November 16, 2016, requiring nursing homes to be compliant and implement all regulations one year after the effective date, on November 15, 2017. The purpose of this Final Rule is to establish national emergency preparedness requirements for nursing homes and other health care providers affected by the regulation to ensure adequate planning and preparation for natural and man-made disasters and coordination with local, state and federal emergency preparedness systems.
Nursing homes nationwide are required to have Emergency Preparedness regulations as a part of their requirements for certification. They must be in compliance with regulations to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
What's included in those Emergency Preparedness Plans? ALL types of disasters - hurricanes, floods, tornados, fires, wildfires, earthquakes, bioterrorism, nuclear disasters, pandemics, active shooter, homeland security threats, etc. Facilities need to know if they're in zone for flooding, what routes could be blocked in a potential disaster, what facilities can they evacuate to in a potential evacuation situation, can those facilities handle ALL of their residents (if not, how many facilities do they need to utilize and are THOSE facilities in potentially hazardous zones?), do they need to count on taking their own staff, transportation, patient acuity (who can be transported by stretcher, by wheelchair, in regular vehicles?), your chain of command, your shelter-in-place plan, your modes of communication should you lose landline and cellular services. ALL these things need to be addressed for EVERY type of disaster you may encounter. And that's just a start....
Seems like a daunting task when you're faced with the responsibility of a facility filled with individuals with serious physical and cognitive limitations. Where do you even begin?
This is where the LTC2Prepare training, a CMP funded project offered by the University of Louisville, Kent School of Social Work, comes in! LTC2Prepare, which began in April 2021, offers 16 hours, two-day training that can be done virtually or in-person and provides a wealth of information – 20+ disaster templates that you can use to develop your facility’s disaster plans to an online Hazard Vulnerability Map that shows exactly what hazards will affect your facility based on its exact location (what an amazing tool to take the guesswork out of your planning!)
Diana Jester, University of Louisville
I attended one of their 3 in-person training events in Greenville recently and let me tell you, even with 23 years in the field, I learned SO much! They offered practical information for real-life situations and great resources that all long-term care facility administrators and staff should know about.
The best part about the whole training is that everything, right down to the disaster templates, were cross referenced with e-tags to ensure compliance with CMS. The manual is available to download on the website to training attendees.
This training is NO COST to attendees!
So here is what you need to know……
LTC2Prepare – Emergency Preparedness 201 will be offered March 13-14, 2023, in Chapel Hill. Click HERE for more details.
The final year of their project will launch in 2023 with LTC2Prepare – Emergency Preparedness 301.
All trainings are provided in-person or virtually – check out their website at Login – LTC2Prepare. In-person trainings are held in Ashville, Chapel Hill and Greenville.
This training is a MUST for nursing home administrators and staff, state surveyors, CMS staff, Ombudsmen, and Quality Improvement Organizations