CMS Updates Emergency Preparedness Exercise Exemption

Emergency Preparedness; CMS

CMS issued an updated memo (QSO-20-41-ALL) this week that provides new guidance around when an inpatient provider may be exempted from its next required full-scale exercise. The memo indicates that inpatient providers that are still operating under “disaster/emergency conditions during the Public Health Emergency” are exempt from their next full-scale exercise in the facility’s 12-month exercise cycle.  
 
This exemption assumes the facility is still operating under its “activated emergency plan.” If the facility has resumed normal operations, the exemption does not apply. Where the exemption is applicable, the guidance clarifies that a second exercise of choice is still required annually.