For most organizations, November 15, 2017, is just another day on the calendar. But, for healthcare providers that must comply with the Congress-approved CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, it’s potentially doomsday. How so?

Healthcare providers that receive Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements stand to lose this critical funding if their emergency preparedness programs do not meet CMS requirements in four critical areas. These key measurements encompass emergency planning; policies and procedures; communication; and training and testing.

Among the 17 types of healthcare providers that must adhere to the ruling are hospitals, hospices and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). Long-term care (LTC) facilities are also on the list. And, they are under the looking glass given the tragic death of eight patients in a Hollywood, Florida facility after Hurricane Irma.

Government leaders agree with the need for improved emergency preparedness by healthcare organizations. Take Florida Governor, Rick Scott, for example. In a recent statement, which was widely publicized by CNN, he said, “During emergencies, healthcare facilities must be fully prepared to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of those in their care and there is absolutely no excuse not to protect life.”

In this September 16, 2017 statement, Governor Scott went on to say that “pursuant to the emergency action, within the next 60 days, all assisted living facilities (ALFs) and nursing homes must obtain ample resources, in