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Examining Healthcare Coalitions' Partnerships With Non-Hospital-Based Facilities in Community Preparedness Efforts

Healthcare Coalitions (HCCs) are groups of public and private health care organizations, emergency preparedness planners, responders, and other types of health officials in specified jurisdictions. HCCs receive funding through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP). HPP guidance states that HCCs should create jurisdictional emergency response plans that take into consideration the needs of vulnerable populations, including persons with mental illnesses. Many vulnerable populations depend on non-hospital-based facilities, such as community mental health centers, for monitoring and care during and after disasters. However, prior OIG work found that non-hospital-based health care facilities commonly lacked comprehensive emergency response plans. Prompted in part by this work, CMS implemented new emergency preparedness requirements that apply to all facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. While HPP and CMS emergency preparedness requirements are components of different programs managed by different agencies, the implementation of each is affected by the other. The HPP directs HCCs to leverage the CMS-required emergency response plans of its partners, especially those that serve vulnerable populations. At the same time, some non-hospital-based facilities may depend on the expertise and resources of HCC partners to meet CMS emergency preparedness requirements. We will examine the extent to which HCCs ensure "a successful whole community response" by integrating non-hospital-based facilities into their emergency preparedness activities and technological strategies. We will also assess ASPR's oversight and support-including its coordination with CMS-of HCCs' integration of non-hospital-based facilities.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
June 2019 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Examining Healthcare Coalitions' Partnerships With Non-Hospital-Based Facilities in Community Preparedness Efforts Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-04-18-00080 2020