Can the ‘imminent’ pandemic be far off when lawyers begin their pandemic pandemonium preparation?
96 pages-Legal Pandemic Checklist
On May 2, 2008, Health Lawyers, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) convened a public interest dialogue session to discuss the role of the health-care sector in community pan-flu preparedness.
The healthcare attorneys are preparing for the next pandemic and believe that the coming pandemic will not be adequately and easily handled despite our modern healthcare system.
Emergency planning is being accepted by attorneys as a prerequisite for effective disaster preparation and unless these elements are considered, evaluated, and addressed in advance, response to public emergencies such as pandemic influenza will be severely handicapped.
Just what facets of the pandemic are healthcare attorneys addressing?
- Train parents in the community regarding issues related to consent to treatment for their children in the event of an influenza pandemic or other mass-casualty situations.
- Â§ 264(b), adding “influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic” to the list of communicable diseases for which the CDC is authorized to detain individuals).
- Establishing a “crisis standard of care” for emergencies such as pandemics where health-care demands exceed available resources.
This is your euthanasia or culling triage.
- Health-care organizations need to know what possible sources of immunity are available, understand the scope of provider liability statutes within their states.
- An influenza pandemic may require the health-care organization to rapidly expand its facility or take over other nearby buildings, called “surge facilities,” in order to meet a high volume of infected patients.
- Security concerns including the ability to secure medications, controlled substances and limited resources?
- The systems are in place to determine chronic co-morbid conditions and concomitant medication use when patients are seen by medical practitioners and establishments.
Your preexisting conditions and medications are subjected to a complex algorithm to determine if you will have access to medical treatment and resources during a pandemic- INSTITUTE FOR ALGORITHMIC MEDICINE Comorbidity Index and Score of Charlson.
- State or local laws authorize governmental or emergency response officials to require non-health-care providers to assist during an influenza pandemic, including authority to commandeer equipment and other assets.
Such as the USPS dispensing medications and other services during a pandemic under CDC Cities of Readiness
- Applicable state or local public health authority authorized to order compulsory examination, treatment, or vaccination during a disaster, a state of emergency, or a public health emergency.
- Ordering of these examinations, treatments, or vaccinations to take place at the organization’s facility, will the government agency ordering these activities pay the costs of the procedures or provide the materials and supplies necessary to conduct these activities?
- In an effort to target key actors in pandemic response and planning, the checklist is divided by specific actors: healthcare facilities, healthcare providers, patients, and state and federal government agents.
For an in-depth discussion of the federal and state laws and regulations affecting workforce management issues, see American Health Lawyers Association, Teleconference Series, Planning for Pandemonium: Pandemic Flu and Other Disasters, at Part III (Jan. 23, 2006).
- Healthcare provider outsourcing to a third party or “partnering” with other similar employers outside of its region in the event that the effect of the pandemic is geographically limited and staffing support is required.
Outsourcing…might this be an international ‘partner’?
- Issues related to the licensing, credentialing, and insuring of staff.
- The potential liability to the organization created by accepting unlicensed out-of-state healthcare professionals in response to an influenza pandemic?
- Consideration that the Secretary of DHHS may need to waive federal healthcare program physician licensure requirements
- Problematic consideration: long term care facilities, which generally do not have the resources or training to care for acutely ill individuals.
- Will the facility be able to obtain sufficient quantities of respiratory support equipment to care for residents with acute respiratory distress secondary to pandemic influenza (e.g., ventilators)?