On January 11, 2017 ASPR TRACIE hosted a webinar on the newly-released 2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities. The webinar is archived and available for viewing on the ASPR TRACIE website.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) leads the country in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the adverse health effects of emergencies and disasters. This is accomplished by supporting the nation’s ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and emergency response systems, and enhancing national health security. ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) enables the health care delivery system to save lives during emergencies and disaster events that exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of existing health and emergency response systems. HPP is the only source of federal funding for health care delivery system readiness, intended to improve patient outcomes, minimize the need for federal and supplemental state resources during emergencies, and enable rapid recovery. HPP prepares the health care delivery system to save lives through the development of health care coalitions (HCCs) that incentivize diverse and often competitive health care organizations with differing priorities and objectives to work together.
ASPR developed the 2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities guidance to describe what the health care delivery system, including HCCs, hospitals, and emergency medical services (EMS), have to do to effectively prepare for and respond to emergencies that impact the public’s health. Each jurisdiction, including emergency management organizations and public health agencies, provides key support to the health care delivery system.
HHS grants bolster health care and public health disaster preparedness:
The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $971 million to continue improving preparedness and health outcomes for a wide range of public health threats within every state, eight U.S. territories, and four of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. “Health care and public health systems that are prepared to respond successfully to emergencies and recover quickly from all hazards are also able to deliver services more effectively and efficiently every day,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “Having systems in place to provide better treatment for disaster survivors and improved public health for our communities also leads to better health outcomes on a day-to-day basis.”
On January 19, 2012 the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Capabilities document, “The Healthcare Preparedness Capabilities: National Guidance for Healthcare System Preparedness”.
In previous years, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) and HPP Capabilities have been separate; however, in 2012 these capabilities will be aligned. The U.S. HHS is scheduled to release the HPP-PHEP Capabilities Planning Guide (CPG) which will further outline the new alignment and relationship between the two sets of Capabilities and will describe the intent, completion and reporting requirements. In an effort to plan for the new capabilities, the California Department of Public Health is undertaking a statewide planning process to determine implementation strategies for 2012.
July 1, 2011 Contact: HHS Press Office (202) 690-6343
HHS grants boost disaster preparedness in hospitals, health care systems The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today awarded more than $352 million to continue improving disaster preparedness of hospitals and health care systems within every state, and three large metropolitan areas.
These Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grants support preparedness activities for hospitals and health care facilities, including the medical surge capability in communities across the nation.
“We want every community to be prepared and resilient when faced with any type of health hazard and we’ve seen preparedness steps pay off this year across the country with severe storms, floods, and tornados,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response whose agency oversees HPP. “State health officials have attributed their ability to respond as well as they have to the preparedness levels they’ve reached through the HPP and other federal programs.”
For example, after a tornado demolished a hospital in Joplin, Mo., the state’s disaster medical assistance team and hospital staff set up a mobile medical unit at the hospital site. The state purchased the mobile medical unit using HPP and other federal funds, and the unit will serve as the community’s hospital until a new hospital can be built.
Grant recipients use the HPP funds to employ experts who have developed and maintained preparedness plans and to purchase equipment, including mobile medical units and equipment to communicate with local emergency responders. HPP funds have been used to train and educate staff on disaster response, including the National Incident Management System, which provides a standardized management structure for disaster response. Grant recipients are required to test this capability through disaster exercises.
Using HPP funds, grant recipients put systems in place to track the number of hospital beds available which helps hospitals handle a surge of patients after disasters, as well as systems to register volunteers. The funds also support planning, training and exercises for evacuating facilities, for sheltering patients and staff in place, and for managing mass fatalities. In addition, HPP funds may be used to purchase pharmaceutical caches for use during an emergency response.
HPP encourages grant recipients to develop health care coalitions with other hospitals and health care systems, community businesses and non-government organizations which can support a facility in caring for patients.
Additional HHS funding for state and local preparedness activities is expected to be released in August through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreement program (PHEP). PHEP funds help to prepare public health systems for emergencies. The grants focus on 15 public health capabilities, such as strengthening public health surveillance and epidemiological investigation, emergency public health information and warning capability, medical countermeasure dispensing, public health laboratory testing, and responder safety and health.
From Hospitals to Healthcare Coalitions: Transforming Health Preparedness and Response in Our Communities, the program’s first state-by-state report, identifies the advances that states have made in preparing hospitals for all types of disasters. The report also discusses the next steps the program will take to boost community resilience.
All states, eight U.S. territories and four large metropolitan areas participate in the cooperative agreement grant program, which provides federal funds, technical assistance, and guidelines for hospital preparedness. Of the more than 6,300 hospitals across the nation, more than 85 percent take advantage of the program.
In 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) contracted with the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Center) to conduct a two-year, comprehensive assessment of hospital preparedness in the U.S. from the time of the establishment of the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) in 2002 through mid-2007 and to develop tools and recommendations for evaluating and improving future hospital preparedness efforts. Hospitals Rising to the Challenge: The First Five Years of the U.S. Hospital Preparedness Program and Priorities Going Forward is the second major deliverable for the project. It includes our assessment of the impact of the HPP on hospital preparedness from 2002 through 2007 and our preliminary recommendations for improving the state of U.S. hospital disaster preparedness.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations (OPEO), Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), requests applications for State and jurisdictional hospital preparedness cooperative agreements (CA), as authorized by section 319C-2 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) (P.L. 109-417). This authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award competitive grants or cooperative agreements to eligible entities to enable such entities to improve surge capacity and enhance community and hospital preparedness for public health emergencies.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, provides funding for these awards (P.L. 110-161). Surge capacity is defined as the ability of a healthcare system to adequately care for increased numbers of patients. In 2003, as a planning target HPP defined surge capacity for beds as 500 beds/million population. In 2006, the HPP also defined surge capability as the ability of healthcare systems to treat the unusual or highly specialized medical needs produced as a result of surge capacity.
The HPP started to lay out a series of capabilities that all healthcare organizations participating in this program must possess and this funding opportunity announcement continues to clarify those capabilities.The majority of federal funds (ideally seventy-five percent or more) should be distributed to healthcare facilities. Healthcare facilities are defined broadly as any combination of the following: outpatient facilities and centers (e.g., behavioral health, substance abuse, urgent care), inpatient facilities and centers (e.g., trauma, state and federal veterans, long-term, children’s, tribal), and other entities (e.g., poison control, emergency medical services, nursing).
The activities and funding provided through the CA are for the purposes of exercising and improving preparedness plans for all hazards including pandemic influenza.The awardee should work with all potential sub-awardees to develop activities that clearly integrate and enhance preparedness activities with the overall effect of making healthcare systems function in more efficient, resilient, and coordinated manners. Awardees are reminded that these funds are to be used to supplement and develop not supplant current resources supporting healthcare preparedness.