CMS Updates Guidance for Emergency Preparedness Testing Exercise Requirements: COVID-19
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently issued a new guidance document regarding Emergency Preparedness Testing Exemptions that presents guidance for surveyors, as well as providers and suppliers, with relevant scenarios on meeting the testing requirements in light of many of the response activities associated with the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
CMS regulations for Emergency Preparedness require specific testing exercises be conducted to validate the facility’s emergency program. During or after an actual emergency, the regulations allow for an exemption to the testing requirements based on real world actions taken by providers and suppliers as explained in the attached document.
As discussed in more detail in the attached document, the regulations allow for an exemption to the testing requirements during or after an actual emergency. If a provider experiences an actual natural or man-made emergency that requires activation of their emergency plan, inpatient and outpatient providers will be exempt from their next required full-scale community-based exercise or individual, facility-based functional exercise following the onset of the actual event. In light of the PHE, CMS is clarifying the testing exercise requirements to ensure that surveyors, as well as providers and suppliers, are aware of the exemption available based on activation of their emergency plans.
Please See the attached document below for the full statement released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.