ICC makes changes to the code development process
The International Code Council (ICC) is revising its rigorous code development process to create an integrated and continuous three-year cycle. The changes will take effect between 2024 and 2026 for the development of the 2027 International Codes. In the new timeline, year one will include two committee action hearings for Group A codes; year two will include two committee action hearings for Group B codes; and year three will be the joint public comment hearings and online governmental consensus vote for both Group A and B codes. As part of the new process, volunteers on code development committees will now preside over the two committee action hearings, one in the spring and one in the fall.
CMS announces end of public health emergency
The federal public health emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 is set to expire May 11, the Department of Health and Human Services says. The PHE was declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, allowing for emergency declarations, legislative actions by Congress and regulatory actions across government, including by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to permit flexibilities in health care delivery during the COVID-19 PHE. Health care providers received maximum flexibility to streamline delivery and allow access to care during the PHE. While some of these changes will be permanent or extended due to Congressional action, some flexibilities and waivers will expire.
IAHSS creates new emergency response guideline
The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) released a new industry guideline that describes the process for developing a behavioral health emergency response team (BERT). The guideline was developed by the IAHSS Council on Guidelines, which is comprised of volunteer IAHSS members who are seasoned health care security professionals and leaders. The new guideline sets a standard for health care facilities to “establish specific violence prevention and aggression management policies, processes and practices to identify, de-escalate, deter, and manage potential disruptive events. This includes establishing behavioral health emergency response teams.” The guide provides definitions, elements for chartering a BERT and suggested members for helping to establish the team.
HHS releases guide to prevent cyberattacks
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) released a guide to help health care organizations protect their internet-connected devices and networks from distributed denial of service attacks, which can keep providers and patients from accessing critical resources such as electronic health records and software-based medical equipment. In addition, HC3 released a report reviewing 2022 cybersecurity threats and some likely long-term trends to consider. John Riggi, American Hospital Association national adviser for cybersecurity and risk, states, “Both of these guides contain specific recommendations to help mitigate the risk of various forms of cyberattack, from the simple to the complex.”