Last week, the West Virginia Primary Care Association (WVPCA) transitioned its Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan to a brand new Health Care Emergency & Continuity Planning (HCECP) online platform. The platform, which has been used to successfully develop over 10,000+ preparedness plans across the country, was developed by Tennessee-based BOLDplanning Inc.

To aid with the plan changeover, WVPCA held two days of workshops on September 17 and 18, 2019, in Morgantown and Charleston, West Virginia. The workshops, which were open to all WVPCA member health centers statewide, were hosted by the association’s Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Debra Boyd. Workshop activities were facilitated by BOLDplanning representatives, James Woulfe, CHPCP, CHEP, and Emily Long, PCP (Level 1).

During the workshops, participants reviewed emergency management/business continuity terminology and concepts, and learned how to fully navigate the BOLDplanning tool. They also shared in best practices for HCECP plan development and updating. Such knowledge will help WVPCA to continue building (and maintaining) emergency and continuity plans that are compliant with the Emergency Preparedness Rule of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The rule, which required compliance by 17 types of health care organizations by November 17, 2017, established national emergency preparedness requirements to ensure adequate planning for both natural and man-made disasters, and coordination with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems.

WVPCA is a private, non-profit membership association that represents West Virginia safety-net health care providers. It is the federally designated primary care association for the state, and is the link between federal, state and local entities providing health care for 25%, or one in four, of the West Virginia’s residents.