Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services Emergency Management Rule Resources

CMS.GOV EM Templates and Checklists Site

Full CMS Rule & Statute

CMS Emerg. Prep. Rule – National Call Materials Now Online: On October 5th when Florida was totally involved in Hurricane Matthew, CMS conducted a national provider call on the new Emergency Preparedness Rule. I was unable to participate and I bet none of you were either. The materials related to the call are now available online as follows:

·        Link to the Slide Presentation [PDF, 925KB]  

·        Link to the Audio Recording [ZIP, 19MB]  

·        Link to the Written Transcript [PDF, 350KB]  

A few points to remember about the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule (EP Rule):

  1. Important Dates:

    • Effective Date – November 15, 2016: The final rule is effective November the 15, 2016.

    • Implementation Date – November 15, 2017: The implementation deadline is November the 15, 2017. The rule will not be enforced—that is, facilities will not be surveyed on these requirements—until after the implementation deadline of November 15, 2017.

  2. CMS Emergency Preparedness Page: Here’s a link to the CMS page dedicated to emergency preparedness; the banner on the left side of the site has links to various topics (core elements, etc.). The EP Rule applies to 17 provider types, listed here. CMS has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document, located here (note – CMS plans to update it, so be sure to check back to the CMS page).

  3. CMS Interpretive Guidelines (IG): CMS has not developed the Interpretive Guidelines on the new EP Rule that dictates how states will survey (monitor) for compliance. CMS says the Interpretive Guidelines will be released in the spring of 2017 – no date certain. Here’s an excerpt from the October 28, 2016 CMS Survey & Certification Letter:  “Interpretive guidelines and survey procedures will be developed and are anticipated to be published in the spring of 2017. Therefore, until the guidance is published we will not be able to answer most questions regarding the requirements and survey procedures. Once the guidance is published providers and suppliers will have several months to prepare for implementation. CMS is currently working to develop training for surveyors. The training will be web-based and self-paced. We anticipate the training to be available in the spring of 2017. More training information will be sent at a later date.” To read the CMS letter, click here.

  4. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): The CMS EP Rule also references the NFPA, and at least for nursing homes, the Rule requires that they meet the requirements of NFPA 99, 2012 Edition, and NFPA 110, 2010 Edition. To visit the NFPA’s page on codes and standards, click here.

  5. Agency for Health Care Administration: In Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration has rules that relate to Emergency Preparedness  for providers they license, and while their requirements won’t be less than the EP Rule, it could be more stringent in certain areas. Currently, AHCA has Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) criteria for various healthcare license types. Those are under review and must follow the rule making process, including hearings and adherence to the rule promulgation timeline.  To visit the Agency’s page on emergency preparedness, click here. To sign up for the Agency’s Health Care Alerts, click here.

  6. Education on the CMS EP Rule: Providers are busy digging into the EP Rule and comparing it to their existing emergency operations plans, reviewing the CMS Frequently Asked Questions document (click here, scroll to the link under DOWNLOADS), and looking to the Agency for Health Care Administration (the Agency) regarding their rule making process as it applies to a particular provider’s license type (e.g., home health). Education on the core elements of the CMS EP Rule is very important, while also remembering that the Agency is promulgating their own rules on Emergency Preparedness, too, and CMS will be releasing their Interpretive Guidelines in the spring of 2017.  At the highest level, the CMS EP Rule sets out minimum standards; Florida will be developing/promulgating rules, too, in alignment with the CMS EP Rule and with the possibility of additional requirements; and then there are local county OEMs that may set out yet additional requirements (e.g., Pinellas County’s fatality management plan for some license types). Meanwhile, various types of resources have been posted to the TRACIE website.