42 U.S. Code § 247d–3c. Guidelines for regional health care emergency preparedness and response systems

(a) Purpose

It is the purpose of this section to identify and provide guidelines for regional systems of hospitals, health care facilities, and other public and private sector entities, with varying levels of capability to treat patients and increase medical surge capacity during, in advance of, and immediately following a public health emergency, including threats posed by one or more chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents, including emerging infectious diseases.

(b) GuidelinesThe Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, in consultation with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the heads of such other Federal agencies as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, and State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health officials, shall, not later than 2 years after June 24, 2019
(1) identify and develop a set of guidelines relating to practices and protocols for all-hazards public health emergency preparedness and response for hospitals and health care facilities to provide appropriate patient care during, in advance of, or immediately following, a public health emergency, resulting from one or more chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents, including emerging infectious diseases (which may include existing practices, such as trauma care and medical surge capacity and capabilities), with respect to—
(A) a regional approach to identifying hospitals and health care facilities based on varying capabilities and capacity to treat patients affected by such emergency, including—
(i)
the manner in which the system will coordinate with and integrate the partnerships and health care coalitions established under section 247d–3b(b) of this title; and
(ii)
informing and educating appropriate first responders and health care supply chain partners of the regional emergency preparedness and response capabilities and medical surge capacity of such hospitals and health care facilities in the community;
(B)
physical and technological infrastructure, laboratory capacity, staffing, blood supply, and other supply chain needs, taking into account resiliency, geographic considerations, and rural considerations;
(C)
protocols or best practices for the safety and personal protection of workers who handle human remains and health care workers (including with respect to protective equipment and supplies, waste management processes, and decontamination), sharing of specialized experience among the health care workforce, behavioral health, psychological resilience, and training of the workforce, as applicable;
(D)
in a manner that allows for disease containment (within the meaning of section 300hh–1(b)(2)(B) of this title), coordinated medical triage, treatment, and transportation of patients, based on patient medical need (including patients in rural areas), to the appropriate hospitals or health care facilities within the regional system or, as applicable and appropriate, between systems in different States or regions; and
(E)
the needs of children and other at-risk individuals;
(2)
make such guidelines available on the internet website of the Department of Health and Human Services in a manner that does not compromise national security; and
(3)
update such guidelines as appropriate, including based on input received pursuant to subsections (c) and (e) and information resulting from applicable reports required under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (including any amendments made by such Act), to address new and emerging public health threats.
(c) ConsiderationsIn identifying, developing, and updating guidelines under subsection (b), the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response shall—
(1)
include input from hospitals and health care facilities (including health care coalitions under section 247d–3b of this title), State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments, and health care or subject matter experts (including experts with relevant expertise in chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats, including emerging infectious diseases), as the Assistant Secretary determines appropriate, to meet the goals under section 300hh–1(b)(3) of this title;
(2)
consult and engage with appropriate health care providers and professionals, including physicians, nurses, first responders, health care facilities (including hospitals, primary care clinics, community health centers, mental health facilities, ambulatory care facilities, and dental health facilities), pharmacies, emergency medical providers, trauma care providers, environmental health agencies, public health laboratories, poison control centers, blood banks, tissue banks, and other experts that the Assistant Secretary determines appropriate, to meet the goals under section 300hh–1(b)(3) of this title;
(3)
consider feedback related to financial implications for hospitals, health care facilities, public health agencies, laboratories, blood banks, tissue banks, and other entities engaged in regional preparedness planning to implement and follow such guidelines, as applicable; and
(4)
consider financial requirements and potential incentives for entities to prepare for, and respond to, public health emergencies as part of the regional health care emergency preparedness and response system.
(d) Technical assistance

The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, in consultation with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, may provide technical assistance and consultation toward meeting the guidelines described in subsection (b).

(e) Demonstration project for regional health care preparedness and response systems
(1) In general

The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response may establish a demonstration project pursuant to the development and implementation of guidelines under subsection (b) to award grants to improve medical surge capacity for all hazards, build and integrate regional medical response capabilities, improve specialty care expertise for all-hazards response, and coordinate medical preparedness and response across State, local, Tribal, territorial, and regional jurisdictions.

(2) Sunset

The authority under this subsection shall expire on September 30, 2023.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title III, § 319C–3, as added Pub. L. 116–22, title II, § 203(a), June 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 911.)
References in Text

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, referred to in subsec. (b)(3), is Pub. L. 116–22, June 24, 2019, 133 Stat. 905. For complete classfication of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2019 Amendment note set out under section 201 of this title and Tables.