42 CFR § 485.618 - Condition of participation: Emergency services.
The CAH provides emergency care necessary to meet the needs of its inpatients and outpatients.
(a) Standard: Availability. Emergency services are available on a 24-hours a day basis.
(b) Standard: Equipment, supplies, and medication. Equipment, supplies, and medication used in treating emergency cases are kept at the CAH and are readily available for treating emergency cases. The items available must include the following:
(1) Drugs and biologicals commonly used in life-saving procedures, including analgesics, local anesthetics, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antidotes and emetics, serums and toxoids, antiarrythmics, cardiac glycosides, antihypertensives, diuretics, and electrolytes and replacement solutions.
(2) Equipment and supplies commonly used in life-saving procedures, including airways, endotracheal tubes, ambu bag/valve/mask, oxygen, tourniquets, immobilization devices, nasogastric tubes, splints, IV therapy supplies, suction machine, defibrillator, cardiac monitor, chest tubes, and indwelling urinary catheters.
(c) Standard: Blood and blood products. The facility provides, either directly or under arrangements, the following:
(1) Services for the procurement, safekeeping, and transfusion of blood, including the availability of blood products needed for emergencies on a 24-hours a day basis.
(2) Blood storage facilities that meet the requirements of 42 CFR part 493, subpart K, and are under the control and supervision of a pathologist or other qualified doctor of medicine or osteopathy. If blood banking services are provided under an arrangement, the arrangement is approved by the facility's medical staff and by the persons directly responsible for the operation of the facility.
(d) Standard: Personnel.
(1) Except as specified in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, there must be a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, or a clinical nurse specialist, with training or experience in emergency care, on call and immediately available by telephone or radio contact, and available on site within the following timeframes:
(ii) Within 60 minutes, on a 24-hour a day basis, if all of the following requirements are met:
(A) The CAH is located in an area designated as a frontier area (that is, an area with fewer than six residents per square mile based on the latest population data published by the Bureau of the Census) or in an area that meets the criteria for a remote location adopted by the State in its rural health care plan, and approved by CMS, under section 1820(b) of the Act.
(B) The State has determined, under criteria in its rural health care plan, that allowing an emergency response time longer than 30 minutes is the only feasible method of providing emergency care to residents of the area served by the CAH.
(C) The State maintains documentation showing that the response time of up to 60 minutes at a particular CAH it designates is justified because other available alternatives would increase the time needed to stabilize a patient in an emergency.
(2) A registered nurse with training and experience in emergency care can be utilized to conduct specific medical screening examinations only if -
(i) The registered nurse is on site and immediately available at the CAH when a patient requests medical care; and
(ii) The nature of the patient's request for medical care is within the scope of practice of a registered nurse and consistent with applicable State laws and the CAH's bylaws or rules and regulations.
(3) A registered nurse satisfies the personnel requirement specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section for a temporary period if -
(i) The CAH has no greater than 10 beds;
(iii) The State in which the CAH is located submits a letter to CMS signed by the Governor, following consultation on the issue of using RNs on a temporary basis as part of their State rural healthcare plan with the State Boards of Medicine and Nursing, and in accordance with State law, requesting that a registered nurse with training and experience in emergency care be included in the list of personnel specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The letter from the Governor must attest that he or she has consulted with State Boards of Medicine and Nursing about issues related to access to and the quality of emergency services in the States. The letter from the Governor must also describe the circumstances and duration of the temporary request to include the registered nurses on the list of personnel specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section;
(iv) Once a Governor submits a letter, as specified in paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section, a CAH must submit documentation to the State survey agency demonstrating that it has been unable, due to the shortage of such personnel in the area, to provide adequate coverage as specified in this paragraph (d).
(4) The request, as specified in paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section, and the withdrawal of the request, may be submitted to us at any time, and are effective upon submission.
(e) Standard: Coordination with emergency response systems. The CAH must, in coordination with emergency response systems in the area, establish procedures under which a doctor of medicine or osteopathy is immediately available by telephone or radio contact on a 24-hours a day basis to receive emergency calls, provide information on treatment of emergency patients, and refer patients to the CAH or other appropriate locations for treatment.
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