Hospice Agencies The Emergency Plan

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The Hospice must have an emergency preparedness plan that is reviewed, and updated annually.

  1. Must have a Risk-Assessment form that includes all hazards method vulnerability.
  2. Include strategies that address the emergencies identified on the Risk-Assessment Form, which should also include power failure, natural disasters, and other types of emergencies that can affect the daily operations of the Hospice agency.
  3. Notation of the types of patients the agency will have, the types of services the agency is capable of providing during and after a disaster, and the delegation of authority.
  4. The plan must indicate how the agency will cooperate with state, federal, tribal, regional, and local officials/agencies in response to a disaster or emergency situation, in addition to documentation of the hospice’s efforts to contact officials and, if applicable, any participation in a joint and cooperative planning endeavor.

Policies and Procedures

Must be reviewed annually, and be based on the risk assessment and CMS/Medicaid requirements. The policies and procedures must address the following:

  1. Must have procedures to determine what services are needed from on-duty staff and patients, if there is an interruption in services during an emergency. The hospice must inform State and local officials of any on-duty staff or patients that they are unable to contact.
  2. Procedures must be in place to inform State and local officials about hospice patients that are in need of evacuation from their residences any time during an emergency due to the patient’s medical and psychiatric condition and home environment.
  3. Procedure for documentations that protects and keeps patient information, patient confidentiality, while securing and maintaining the accessibility of records.
  4. A procedure must be in place regarding the use of hospice employees in an emergency that affect staffing strategies, including the process and role for integration of State and Federally designated health care professionals to address surge needs during an emergency.
  5. A plan (MOU) must be in place with other hospices and other providers to receive patients in the event of limitations or cessation of operations to maintain the continuity of services to hospice patients.

Communication plan

The hospice agency must develop, update, and review an emergency preparedness communication plan that complies with Federal, State, and local regulations at least annually. The Communication Plan shall include all of the following: 

1.    Names and contact information for the following:  

a. Hospice Employees

b. Contracts or vendors providing services under arrangement

c. All patient’s Physicians

d. Other Hospices

2. Contact Information for:

a. State, local, tribal, regional, and Federal Emergency Contact /law agencies

b. Emergency Response agencies and other sources of assistance

3.    Primary and alternate means for communicating with the following:

a. Hospice Agency staff

b. Federal, State, tribal, regional, and local emergency management agencies  

4.   Information and medical documentation for patients under the hospice’s care must be shared   with  other health care providers as needed to maintain the continuity of care.                

There are more requirements for Hospice facilities besides what is on this page. Visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertEmergPrep/Downloads/EP-Rule-Table-Provider-Type.pdf