The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made two changes to its Emergency Preparedness Appendix Z. The first change is adding “emerging infectious diseases” to the current definition of all-hazards approach.

“In light of events such as the Ebola Virus and Zika, we believe that facilities should consider preparedness and infection prevention within their all-hazards approach, which covers both natural and man-made disasters,” the document states. “This addition should be added to your Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) process.”

In the second change CMS has added guidance under Tag E0015- Alternate Source Power and Tag E0042- Emergency Standby Power Systems to provide additional clarifications related to portable/mobile generators. These clarifications recommend that facilities should use the most appropriate energy source or electrical system based on their review of their individual facility’s all-hazards risks assessment and as required by existing regulations or state requirements.

Other clarifications include:

  • Provided additional clarification on safe temperatures (HVAC) in areas deemed necessary to protect patients.
  • Provides elaboration on use of portable generators.
  • Clarification on emergency preparedness training for contract-based employees.
  • Inclusion of statement allowing facilities that activate their emergency plan twice in one year to exempt out of both annual exercise requirements.

Access the memo from the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Quality, Safety & Oversight Group for more information.