Obama inks hazard preparedness legislation

March 13, 2013
by Jessica Zigmond
Modern Healthcare

President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed legislation that renews a law enacted after Hurricane Katrina to improve the readiness of communities and hospitals to respond to disasters and waves of infectious disease. 

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 (PDF) requires HHS' secretary to submit a National Health Security Strategy to certain congressional committees next year. That strategy must include plans for a coordinated and flexible approach to the surge capacity at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, as well as provisions that account for the needs of individuals with disabilities in a public health emergency, according to a summary from analysts at the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service. The legislation also revises and reauthorizes appropriations between 2014 and 2018 for a program of grants and cooperative agreements to improve surge capacity and improve community- and hospital-preparedness efforts.

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