HHS announces additional hurricane waivers, resources

AHA News Now

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price Friday declared public health emergencies in Georgia and South Carolina due to Hurricane Irma, and waived or modified certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements to ensure sufficient health care items and services are available. HHS previously issued similar waivers for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and a limited waiver of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act sanctions and penalties for hospitals in portions of Florida and those territories. In addition, HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response yesterday issued a draft emergency planning document for major hurricanes based on lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and others. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also offers a resource to help communities deal with mental health issues after a disaster. Irma yesterday brought life-threatening wind and storm surges to southwestern Florida before weakening today to a tropical storm.

Topic: Advocacy and Public Policy
Tags: Emergency Preparedness, access, disaster readiness, regulation, Behavioral health, HIPAA

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