NFPA opens public commenting for 2026 editions

Several codes and standards from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are open for public input for the 2026 revision cycle. NFPA publications are typically revised on a three-year basis, and the public is encouraged to provide input on proposed changes to help ensure that any updates to hospital and health care facility requirements remain relevant and not overly burdensome. Public commenting for NFPA 1, Fire Code, is open until April 4. Twenty other codes and standards — including NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code® — close for commenting on June 4. One code, NFPA 85, Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazard Code, has a public commenting deadline of Jan. 7, 2025.

ASHRAE updates building performance standard

The 2024 edition of the American National Standards Institute/ASHRAE/Illuminating Engineering Society’s Standard 100, Energy and Emissions Building Performance Standard for Existing Buildings, is available. The standard, which uses data from the American Society for Health Care Engineering’s Energy to Care® Program, is a code-ready building performance standard that provides processes and procedures for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions through improved energy efficiency and performance in all types of existing buildings, including residential, commercial, institutional and industrial. 

FCC releases rules on rural telehealth

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a final rule updating the Rural Health Care Program, which offers discounted rates for rural broadband and other communications services to support virtual health care services. The rule allows health care providers conditionally eligible for the program to apply for future funding, updates “standard urban distance” definitions for computing urban rates and provides more flexible deadlines to request changes to evergreen contract dates. In a separate proposed rule, the FCC proposed ways to expedite and remove barriers to establishing next generation broadband networks, including utility pole reforms and proposals to speed copper network retirement. It is currently reviewing comments regarding the proposal. 

HHS releases voluntary cybersecurity goals 

The Department of Health and Human Services released voluntary Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs), which include 10 “essential” and 10 “enhanced” goals. Essential goals include multifactor authentication and strong encryption, while enhanced goals include network segmentation and third-party incident reporting. The health care CPGs are based on multiple cybersecurity frameworks and directly address common attack vectors against U.S. domestic hospitals as identified in the 2023 Hospital Cyber Resiliency Landscape Analysis. The American Hospital Association provided input on the resiliency report and the draft goals as a member of the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council’s Cybersecurity Working Group.