Emergency Preparedness Regulations for Long Term Care Facilities
Statutory and regulatory citations for SNFs )—under section 1819 of the Social Security Act, Nursing Facilities (NFs)—under section 1919 of the Act, and 42 CFR 483.1 through 483.180.
The LTC facility must comply with all applicable Federal, State and local emergency preparedness requirements. The LTC facility must establish and maintain an emergency preparedness program that meets the requirements of this section. The emergency preparedness program must include, but not be limited to, the following elements:
The LTC facility must develop and maintain an emergency preparedness plan that must be reviewed, and updated at least annually. The plan must do all of the following:
- Be based on and include a documented, facility-based and community-based risk assessment, utilizing an all-hazards approach, including missing residents.
- Include strategies for addressing emergency events identified by the risk assessment.
- Address resident population, including, but not limited to, persons at-risk; the type of services the LTC facility has the ability to provide in an emergency; and continuity of operations, including delegations of authority and succession plans.
- Include a process for cooperation and collaboration with local, tribal, regional, State, or Federal emergency preparedness officials' efforts to maintain an integrated response during a disaster or emergency situation, including documentation of the LTC facility's efforts to contact such officials and, when applicable, of its participation in collaborative and cooperative planning efforts.
Policies and procedures
The LTC facility must develop and implement emergency preparedness policies and procedures, based on the emergency plan set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, risk assessment at paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and the communication plan at paragraph (c) of this section. The policies and procedures must be reviewed and updated at least annually. At a minimum, the policies and procedures must address the following:
- The provision of subsistence needs for staff and residents, whether they evacuate or shelter in place, include, but are not limited to the following:
- Food, water, medical, and pharmaceutical supplies.
- Alternate sources of energy to maintain—
- Temperatures to protect resident health and safety and for the safe and sanitary storage of provisions;
- Emergency lighting;
- Fire detection, extinguishing, and alarm systems; and
- Sewage and waste disposal.
- A system to track the location of on-duty staff and sheltered residents in the LTC facility's care during and after an emergency. If on-duty staff and sheltered residents are relocated during the emergency, the LTC facility must document the specific name and location of the receiving facility or other location.
- Safe evacuation from the LTC facility, which includes consideration of care and treatment needs of evacuees; staff responsibilities; transportation; identification of evacuation location(s); and primary and alternate means of communication with external sources of assistance.
- A means to shelter in place for residents, staff, and volunteers who remain in the LTC facility.
- A system of medical documentation that preserves resident information, protects confidentiality of resident information, and secures and maintains the availability of records.
- The use of volunteers in an emergency or other emergency staffing strategies, including the process and role for integration of State or Federally designated health care professionals to address surge needs during an emergency.
- The development of arrangements with other LTC facilities and other providers to receive residents in the event of limitations or cessation of operations to maintain the continuity of services to LTC residents.
- The role of the LTC facility under a waiver declared by the Secretary, in accordance with section 1135 of the Act, in the provision of care and treatment at an alternate care site identified by emergency management officials.
The LTC facility must develop and maintain an emergency preparedness communication plan that complies with Federal, State, and local laws and must be reviewed and updated at least annually. The communication plan must include all of the following:
- Names and contact information for the following:
- Entities providing services under arrangement.
- Residents' physicians.
- Other LTC facilities.
- Contact information for the following:
- Federal, State, tribal, regional, or local emergency preparedness staff.
- The State Licensing and Certification Agency.
- The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
- Other sources of assistance.
- Primary and alternate means for communicating with the following:
- LTC facility's staff.
- Federal, State, tribal, regional, or local emergency management agencies.
- A method for sharing information and medical documentation for residents under the LTC facility's care, as necessary, with other health care providers to maintain the continuity of care.
- A means, in the event of an evacuation, to release resident information as permitted under 45 CFR 164.510(b)(1)(ii).
- A means of providing information about the general condition and location of residents under the facility's care as permitted under 45 CFR 164.510(b)(4).
- A means of providing information about the LTC facility's occupancy, needs, and its ability to provide assistance, to the authority having jurisdiction or the Incident Command Center, or designee.
- A method for sharing information from the emergency plan that the facility has determined is appropriate with residents and their families or representatives.
Training and testing
The LTC facility must develop and maintain an emergency preparedness training and testing program that is based on the emergency plan set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, risk assessment at paragraph (a)(1) of this section, policies and procedures at paragraph (b) of this section, and the communication plan at paragraph (c) of this section. The training and testing program must be reviewed and updated at least annually.
- Training program. The LTC facility must do all of the following:
- Initial training in emergency preparedness policies and procedures to all new and existing staff, individuals providing services under arrangement, and volunteers, consistent with their expected roles.
- Provide emergency preparedness training at least annually.
- Maintain documentation of the training.
- Demonstrate staff knowledge of emergency procedures.
- Testing. The LTC facility must conduct exercises to test the emergency plan at least annually, including unannounced staff drills using the emergency procedures. The LTC facility must do the following:
- Participate in a full-scale exercise that is community-based or when a community-based exercise is not accessible, an individual, facility-based. If the LTC facility experiences an actual natural or man-made emergency that requires activation of the emergency plan, the LTC facility is exempt from engaging in a community-based or individual, facility-based full-scale exercise for 1 year following the onset of the actual event.
- Conduct an additional exercise that may include, but is not limited to the following:
- A second full-scale exercise that is community-based or individual, facility-based.
- A tabletop exercise that includes a group discussion led by a facilitator, using a narrated, clinically-relevant emergency scenario, and a set of problem statements, directed messages, or prepared questions designed to challenge an emergency plan.
- Analyze the LTC facility's response to and maintain documentation of all drills, tabletop exercises, and emergency events, and revise the LTC facility's emergency plan, as needed.
Emergency and standby power systems
The LTC facility must implement emergency and standby power systems based on the emergency plan set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.
- Emergency generator location. The generator must be located in accordance with the location requirements found in the Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99 and Tentative Interim Amendments TIA 12-2, TIA 12-3, TIA 12-4, TIA 12-5, and TIA 12-6), Life Safety Code (NFPA 101 and Tentative Interim Amendments TIA 12-1, TIA 12-2, TIA 12-3, and TIA 12-4), and NFPA 110, when a new structure is built or when an existing structure or building is renovated.
- Emergency generator inspection and testing. The LTC facility must implement the emergency power system inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements found in the Health Care Facilities Code, NFPA 110, and Life Safety Code.
- Emergency generator fuel. LTC facilities that maintain an onsite fuel source to power emergency generators must have a plan for how it will keep emergency power systems operational during the emergency, unless it evacuates.
Integrated healthcare systems
If a LTC facility is part of a healthcare system consisting of multiple separately certified healthcare facilities that elects to have a unified and integrated emergency preparedness program, the LTC facility may choose to participate in the healthcare system's coordinated emergency preparedness program. If elected, the unified and integrated emergency preparedness program must do all of the following:
- Demonstrate that each separately certified facility within the system actively participated in the development of the unified and integrated emergency preparedness program.
- Be developed and maintained in a manner that takes into account each separately certified facility's unique circumstances, patient populations, and services offered.
Demonstrate that each separately certified facility is capable of actively using the unified and integrated emergency preparedness program and is in compliance with the program.
- Include a unified and integrated emergency plan that meets the requirements of paragraphs (a)(2), (3), and (4) of this section. The unified and integrated emergency plan must also be based on and include—
- A documented community-based risk assessment, utilizing an all-hazards approach.
- A documented individual facility-based risk assessment for each separately certified facility within the health system, utilizing an all-hazards approach.
- Include integrated policies and procedures that meet the requirements set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, a coordinated communication plan and training and testing programs that meet the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, respectively.
The standards incorporated by reference in this section are approved for incorporation by reference by the Director of the Office of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain the material from the sources listed below. You may inspect a copy at the CMS Information Resource Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.html. If any changes in this edition of the Code are incorporated by reference, CMS will publish a document in the Federal Register to announce the changes.
- National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169, www.nfpa.org, 1.617.770.3000.
- NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code 2012 edition, issued August 11, 2011.
- Technical interim amendment (TIA) 12-2 to NFPA 99, issued August 11, 2011.
- TIA 12-3 to NFPA 99, issued August 9, 2012.
- TIA 12-4 to NFPA 99, issued March 7, 2013.
- TIA 12-5 to NFPA 99, issued August 1, 2013.
- TIA 12-6 to NFPA 99, issued March 3, 2014.
- NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, 2012 edition, issued August 11, 2011.
- TIA 12-1 to NFPA 101, issued August 11, 2011.
- TIA 12-2 to NFPA 101, issued October 30, 2012.
- TIA 12-3 to NFPA 101, issued October 22, 2013.
- TIA 12-4 to NFPA 101, issued October 22, 2013.
- NFPA 110, Standard for Emergency and Standby Power Systems, 2010 edition, including TIAs to chapter 7, issued August 6, 2009.