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Hospital Emergency Preparedness Funding Decreases

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The federal government’s support for hospital emergency preparedness for the coming year is decreasing.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response has announced that for the grant program fiscal year 2008-2009 of the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), New York State will receive $13,941,707 and New York City will receive a separate grant of $10,454,772. This represents a decrease from 2007-2008, when New York State received $14,561,258 and New York City received $10,913,604.

HANYS believes that decreases in emergency preparedness funding are unacceptable as providers struggle in a difficult financial environment to implement needed preparedness programs, equipment, and training. HANYS continues to advocate for increased funding to achieve the highest possible level of preparedness for emergency situations, both natural and man-made.

The Hospital Preparedness Program enhances the ability of hospitals and health care systems to prepare for and respond to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. Current program priority areas include interoperable communication systems, bed tracking, personnel management, fatality management planning, and hospital evacuation planning. During the past five years, the funds have also improved bed and personnel surge capacity, decontamination capabilities, isolation capacity, pharmaceutical supplies, training, education, drills, and exercises. - Christopher Smith

Published June 11, 2008