Emergency Preparedness Resources for RHCs  

Healthcare Business Specialists, LLC works with Rural Health Clinics on Cost Reporting, Billing, and Compliance issues. As a part of that commitment to RHCs we are providing the following resources for RHCs to use in complying with the Emergency Preparedness requirements that must be complied with by November 15, 2017. Good luck and get started as soon as possible as the regulation is very time intensive.

October 4, 2019: There have been a number of changes to the Emergency Preparedness Program over recent months and specifically due to changes implemented because of The Omnibus Burden Reduction regulations finalized on September 30, 2019. You will find an updated Emergency Preparedness Policy and Procedure manual in the list of files below. RHCs should update their EP Policies and Procedures to reflect the new less intensive regulations.

January 7, 2019. The following link is a modified Louisiana EP Form which serves as a checklist for RHCs. This one-pager will help you keep up with what needs to be done each year to stay in compliance with the Emergency Preparedness RHC regulations.

Healthcare Business Specialists presented a webinar on Emergency Preparedness on December 14, 2018. The following are links to the webinar recording and the handout of the Powerpoint presentation:

In December, 2018 several documents were published regarding Emergency Preparedness and RHCs. Here are the links to these documents

The Role of Health Clinics in Emergency Preparedness (Summary)


Rural Health Clinic Question and Answers from ASPR Tracie (10-page PDF)


The Role of Health Clinics in Emergency Preparedness (Full Report)


Earthquake Summary from ASPR Tracie


HIPAA Summary as it applies to EP


Initial Emergency Preparedness Training for Employees (November 17, 2017). Healthcare Business Specialists has developed a very brief training program for employees which includes a one page description of the Emergency Preparedness requirements, a request for contact information for the communication plan, and a test to document the employee's understanding of the RHC regulations. We have provided both a Word and PDF version below:

Healthcare Business Specialists has provided some sample Emergency Preparedness policies and procedures for RHCs:

NARHC Handout on 10/19/2017 (2-Page PDF)

  • Self Assessment: Where do you stand on being ready for Emergency Preparedness? Take this self assessment form to determine your readiness for compliance. Self Test for Emergency Preparedness.

The Compliance Team Emergency Preparedness Checklist: Kate Hill provides another great tool for RHCs. This EP Checklist is a great starting point for your clinic to document your compliance steps.

CFR and Regulatory Citations: Emergency Preparedness and related regulations

Definitions, Resources, Interpretative Guidelines: The language of Emergency Preparedness is very specific. CMS has provided definitions of the terms used when discussing Emergency Planning for healthcare providers. We provide the link to the definitions below:

Healthcare Business Specialists webinars: First here are a couple of Healthcare Business Specialists webinars on Emergency Preparedness. Just click on the title and it will open the webinar.

CMS Webinars - Please find below several links to webinars that CMS has conducted on Emergency Preparedness recently that will help you understand your responsibilities under the Emergency Preparedness Guidelines:

CMS Website and Links: CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has several websites dedicated to Emergency Preparedness. These links will take you to those websites and those websites have a number of links that you can explore and contain resources and requirements:

CMS Online Training Modules: CMS has recently published training modules for Emergency Preparedness and it is highly recommended that you go through these modules to help you understand what the RHC inspectors will be looking for:

HBS Presentations on Emergency Preparedness are included below. These are the PDFs of the Powerpoints with links to the regulations and other resources: 

ASPR TRACIE - Brought to you by HHS ASPR, the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) was created to meet the information and technical assistance needs of regional ASPR staff, healthcare coalitions, healthcare entities, healthcare providers, emergency managers, public health practitioners, and others working in disaster medicine, healthcare system preparedness, and public health emergency preparedness. The following link will take you to ASPR TRACIE:

Communication Plans are required to comply with the Emergency Preparedness Guidelines. Here are some resources to help you build your communication plan:

Sample Emergency Plan Templates. We have gathered several Emergency Plan templates for you to use while developing your Emergency Preparedness Program:

Risk Assessment Tools: RHCs are required to conduct a facility specific all hazards risk assessment. We have included the most common tools for RHCs to conduct a Risk Assessment as required under the Emergency Preparedness requirements:

Tabletop Exercise Resources - We have included several resources to help you complete a Tabletop Exercise:

Emergency Response Resources for your Community and Clinic

  • How to prepare and respond to a tornado: https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

Emergency Preparedness Vendor Webinars There are several webinars that are very helpful. Here are a few of them from various reputable vendors:

Additional Resources - For more resources on Emergency Preparedness for RHCs email marklynnrhc@gmail.com or contact the following companies which work with rural health clinics. Connect Consulting Services and Firestorm are Emergency Preparedness consulting firms and have turnkey consulting  for Emergency Preparedness.