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Report Warns Nursing Homes May Not Be As Prepared for Natural Disasters

A recent analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General is reporting that many U.S. nursing homes do not have adequate plans in place in case of natural disasters.

According to an article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, emergency plans for some long-term facilities were missing information, including only about half of the tasks that are found on the checklist for facility responses provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In the article, the report states, “Nursing homes faced challenges with unreliable transportation contracts, lack of collaboration with local emergency management, and residents who developed health problems. LTC ombudsmen were often unable to support nursing home residents during disaster; most had no contact with residents until after the disasters.”

The report recommended a revision of federal regulations for emergency management and training, updating the State Operations Manual, and promoting the use of emergency checklists.