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4/16/2012: Nursing Home Disaster Preparedness Gaps

The Inspector General for HHS has released a report [PDF, external link] on emergency preparedness in nursing homes. The report largely resulted from gaps found in a 2006 report on hurricane preparedness.

The new report found that most facilities were compliant with Federal planning requirements, but

“…[the OIG investigators] identified many of the same gaps in nursing home preparedness and response that we found in our 2006 report. Emergency plans lacked relevant information—including only about half of the tasks on the CMS checklist. Nursing homes faced challenges with unreliable transportation contracts, lack of collaboration with local emergency management, and residents who developed health problems. LTC ombudsmen were often unable to support nursing home residents during disasters; most had no contact with residents until after the disasters.”

The report includes recommendations to CMS and AoA to require more specific planning and training provisions.

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