Information and Guidelines for Health Care Facilities Regarding Flooding and other Natural Disasters - Minnesota Dept. of Health

March 2010

Information Bulletin 10-02
All Providers

Information and Guidelines for Health Care Facilities and Providers in the Event of Spring Flooding or Other Natural Disasters

Health care facilities and providers should review and update their emergency plans and ensure processes are in place to ensure safety of all residents/patients and staff in a disaster.

Health care facilities or providers that need assistance in a flood or other disaster should contact, as soon as possible, the Regional Multi-Agency Coordination Center (MAC) or the Regional Healthcare Preparedness Consultants. Contact information is available at Public Health Preparedness Consultants. These regional resources are there to assist you in such disasters. If you are unable to contact them, you may contact the MDH Health Regulation Division at 651-201-4101 and we will assist you in connecting with local emergency preparedness resources.

The following guidelines may be used by health care facilities and providers to answer questions regarding expectations of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Health Regulation Division during flooding or other similar natural disaster.

  1. Your first and foremost priority is to your residents/patients. Use common sense first, worry about regulations second.

  2. Health care facilities may be called upon by the community or by other healthcare providers to provide support. This might include meals, water, shelter, etc. Do what you can to help, remembering that your primary responsibility is first to your residents, and then to others as staff and resources permit.

  3. Flooding and other natural disasters may affect water supplies. Therefore, facilities may need to reduce bedside water and regular bathing. Hydration and hygiene needs must be met, but usual procedures can be modified.

  4. Staffing resources may also be constrained if there is a disaster in your community. Do your best to keep staffing at appropriate levels. If staffing cannot be maintained, strong consideration must be made to transferring the residents to other facilities.

Evacuating Facility

  1. If residents/patients need to be relocated, it is the responsibility of the evacuating facility to secure appropriate placements. If you need assistance in locating space or finding transportation for your residents/patients you should work with your MAC or contact MDH Health Regulation Division.
  2. The evacuating facility does not need to write a discharge summary of the resident/patients that are being relocated.
  3. The evacuating facility should create a log of residents/patients who are being evacuated and where they are being relocated.
  4. The evacuating facility should send the medical record, care plan, medicine and needed supplies along with the resident/patient to the receiving facility. If they are not available, due to the nature of the disaster, the evacuating facility must write a short profile of the resident/patient and their care needs along with a list and dosage of medications.
  5. The evacuating facility will continue to bill for the services and will be responsible for reimbursing the receiving facility.

Receiving Facility

  1. If your facility will be accepting relocated residents/patients and will exceed licensed capacity, you should contact the MDH Health Regulation Division. Temporary waivers may be granted in an emergency.
  2. The receiving facility should maintain a log of residents/patients relocated to your facility.
  3. For payment and MDS purposes the receiving facility is accepting the resident/patients temporarily. The receiving facility is not required to perform the usual admission procedures nor do they need to prepare the MDS assessment, case mix assessment and care plan. This applies for the first 30 days of the disaster. During this period, an assessment should be made as to the future viability of the evacuating facility. If it is determined that the evacuating facility will NOT be able to resume services, further instructions will be provided.

Additional Resources

Office of Emergency Preparedness, Minnesota Department of Health
During business hours call 651-201-5000 or 1-888-345-0823.

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health Regulation Division, Minnesota Department of Health
Phone: 651-201-4200

Minnesota Ombudsman for Long Term Care
Phone:651-431-2555 or toll-free 1-800-657-3591

If you have any questions related to this Information Bulletin, please contact:

Minnesota Department of Health
Health Regulation Division
Licensing and Certification Program
P.O. Box 64900
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0900
Telephone: 651-201-4200

Friday, October 22, 2021 at 01:58PM