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 Emergency Preparedness


Emergency preparedness is something that every health care organization needs to have. You need to be ready in case of natural disasters, bioterrorism, infectious diseases, pandemic influenza, chemical bombs and radiation. That list may seem frightening, but that's exactly why emergency preparedness is so vital to the well being of  your staff, your patients and yourself. This page is your one-stop hub for emergency preparedness for Home Care in Minnesota. To get started, download "Emergency Preparedness for Home Health Agencies".

Flood warnings. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings and watches for this spring (March, 2010). This year, the potential for flooding is more widespread than it has been in the recent past. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), counties and providers have worked together over the last several years to protect vulnerable individuals and mitigate the impact of the floods.

This is a preliminary communication to help counties better prepare for potential flooding in 2010. As needed, county social service and public health directors should contact their local county disaster preparedness director and make them aware of the following:

  • Existence of vulnerable individuals
  • Where the vulnerable individuals are located
  • Parallel planning efforts to meet the needs of the vulnerable individuals

The policy position of DHS is clear:

  • In an emergency, do what is necessary to protect vulnerable clients and staff.
  • DHS will manage reimbursement (within legal limits) afterwards.

Minn. Stat. §12A.01 and Minn. Stat. §12A.03 provide authority for state agencies to assist communities to recover from a natural disaster for areas of Minnesota that are included in a presidential declaration of major disaster. Minn. Stat. §12A.10 provides DHS with specific statutory authority to reimburse providers that incur additional costs assuring the health and safety of Medical Assistance (MA) recipients.

This assistance is only for costs not covered by other disaster assistance, private insurance or federal human services funding. This assistance is not for flood damage to buildings or property. Please read these statutes.

In the event of a flood in your county, please help identify providers that are impacted and may be eligible for reimbursement under these statutes. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has informed DHS that the Personal Master Index (PMI) numbers of affected individuals will need to be included in any subsequent application for reimbursement.

DHS will contact county directors in disaster areas to gather what information you have on affected providers and clients. See additional information about state reimbursement for flood damage and other resources related to flood recovery.

If you have questions about this communication, please contact Peg Booth at (651) 431-2376.

Pandemic influenza is a very serious matter, one that affects the entire community. It puts your staff at risk--not only of contracting influenza, but of spreading it as well. It is imperative that your agency be prepared for influenza. Read the following documents to get up to speed on what to do during an influenza outbreak.

Minnesota Department of Health Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery
Patient Emergency Preparedness
Family Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness Grab and Go Kits 



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