Now is the time to take a proactive approach. No community can afford to wait for disaster to strike before strengthening its public health and healthcare system infrastructure.
Eight hospitals have evacuated patients in the wake of Hurricane Michael, although five of those remain open for emergency patients. HCA Healthcare and Universal Health Services are among those transferring patients out of damaged facilities.
North Carolina hospitals affected by Hurricane Florence are working to get back to normal operations, thanks in part to collaboration with the state, supply chain partners and healthcare providers in less affected areas, like Atrium Health.
North Carolina hospitals hunkered down and waited for emergency patients to arrive after Hurricane Florence pummeled the coast near Wrightsville Beach on Friday morning.
Coastal hospitals that have long endured threats from hurricanes have launched into time-tested emergency preparations this week, while inland hospitals are gearing up to take in acute patients to be transferred from the coast.
Puerto Rico's long-term public health challenges after Hurricane Maria have also hindered many providers' preparations for the current hurricane season, raising concerns over what harm another major storm would wreak to a health system that hasn't fully recovered.
There's no shortage of webinars focused on public health issues this week, including Zika, preparing for infectious disease outbreaks on public transit, and better explaining genomics to patients.
FEMA didn't have the infrastructure in place to share information quickly enough to properly react to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, according to its after-action report. That left many providers in the dark as they tried to recover.
The CMS finalized a natural disaster policy for hospitals in the mandatory Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, in the hopes of not penalizing hospitals if they exceed spending goals due to uncontrollable events.
Last year's devastating hurricane season offered a lot of lessons for providers, but a recent ACEP poll suggests many still aren't ready if another disaster strikes.
Going months without significant aid or support, hospitals in Puerto Rico have had to mostly go it alone in terms of their recovery efforts. But the way forward seems to provide a ray of hope that could lead to a revamping of the health system.
For much of 2017, attention was on efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. By the end of the year, though, industry trends pointed toward the market reshaping itself through mergers and new offerings.