"Health clinics play a pivotal role in providing outpatient primary care and preventive health services to the most vulnerable populations in the U.S. Regardless of their diverse designations, characteristics, and funding sources, health clinics share the same goal: to deliver affordable, accessible, and high quality primary healthcare to medically underserved patients regardless of their ability to pay. Nearly 1,400 Federally Qualified Health Centers (federally funded and 'look-alikes' that meet all criteria but do not receive Federal funding), 4,100 Rural Health Clinics, and over 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics provide community directed primary healthcare across the country. Because of their extensive geographic coverage, strong community ties, and potential to reach medically underserved areas, health clinics play a key stakeholder role in emergency and disaster preparedness and response. To ensure that healthcare providers are equipped and prepared to effectively respond to emergency situations, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers Final Rule (the CMS Final Rule) in November 2016. Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics are among the 17 provider and supplier types subject to this Rule. This exploratory study was conducted to learn more about the scope and level of implementation of emergency management activities among health clinics, including activities that some clinics may have initiated in response to the CMS Final Rule. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) conducted 175 online surveys with health clinic leaders from 38 states to collect their perceptions about the role of health clinics in supporting the health and medical response to disasters or emergencies."
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response: https://asprtracie.hhs.gov/