The emergency preparedness deadline is quickly looming over 17 different health care provider types, including hospitals, critical access hospitals (CAH), ambulatory surgical centers, and long-term care facilities.

On Sept. 16, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule instituting new emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare facilities that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The implementation date for the Conditions of Participation (CoP) requirement is Nov. 15, 2017, according to an article on the Occupational Health & Safety website.

This rule establishes national emergency preparedness requirements that include adequately planning for disasters that fall on a continuum between disruptive to disastrous. Also, organizations must define their response to emergencies and how they will collaborate and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems. The bottom line is health care facilities must develop a comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that will meet the needs of patients, the community, and their staff during disasters and emergency situations, the article said.  Read a related article here. 

If your healthcare facility needs assistance in creating, updating or auditing your life safety and emergency preparedness plans (EOP) contact Blazemark at 800-965-0041 or email The creators of Blazemark pre-planning software,, has extensive experience in preparing pre-incident plans for government and business.  This experience also includes incorporating plans into tabletop exercises and full scale drills where all stakeholders can learn and practice skills in preparation for natural disasters and man made incidents.  Get more information at

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Jamie Haddon has nearly 30 years of emergency service experience, serving six different fire/ems/rescue departments and obtaining a graduate degree in Public Safety Management. He also has extensive community building experience as a Major Gift Fundraiser in the non-profit world and has served as the President and CEO of the United Way of Bucks County before joining You can follow him on social media @JamieHaddon and @getBlazemark