On the January call, members of the Surge Management workgroup responded to the recent news that the next year’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) funding will decrease by 30 percent. Discussion highlights included:
- Most immediate impacts will affect purchases of large equipment items, training and travel for staff, attendance at conferences, and funding for exercises.
- Many members echoed the sentiment that it seems to be staff vs. stuff.
- Members are looking at how to sustain program without federal funding. Preparing though strategic planning what the future of hospital preparedness looks like without federal money.
- One hospital coalition in Washington decided to make their organization a 501(c)3 and supplement the HPP funding with a membership system. The members receive benefits (e.g. assistance with planning, training collaboration) as part of the system. The down side to this system is not all the health or long term care facilities are a part of the organization and the fragmentation could have consequences during a medical surge event when hospital bed availability is contingent on discharging to these types of facilities.
- When the funding decreases, some regions ask themselves if the reporting requirements are worth the time.
This feedback was collected for NACCHO to use when discussing the implications of funding deceases on local public health with federal partners and policy makers.