October 22 – 28, 2018

Click the read more button to find out this week’s information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (ASPR TRACIE),  Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), and other miscellaneous sources.



Next Regional Coalition meeting is Thursday November 8th at 10:30 am. The meeting will be held using Ring Central’s Regional Coalition conference line. The dial-in information will be sent no later than Tuesday November 6th.

Wow! Our website has reached over 1,500 viewers. Let’s keep it going by informing anyone who has an interest in the Regional Coalition and the information we provide.

To access our website click here. Don’t forget to visit the Events calendar as we add several training events without announcing them in the weekly updates.

We have developed a one page understanding of the regional coalition that can be shared between coalition partners. To view the regional “one-pager” please click here.

 Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Virginia Department of Health

1. Central Shenandoah Health District Point of Dispensing Exercise

The Central Shenandoah Health District will conduct a Point of Dispensing Exercise this Thursday, October 25th, from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm at William Perry Elementary School in Waynesboro. You will receive a free flu shot as part of the exercise. Their goal is to provide the flu shot in less than 15 minutes. Please stop by and support the exercise. Click here to download the flyer for more information and the address.

2. Ebola Virus & Emerging Infectious Disease Summit

Attention Frontline Hospitals, Assessment Hospitals, and Treatment Hospital staff. This year’s Ebola Virus & Emerging Infectious Disease Summit will be Monday November 19 from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm with registration beginning at 8:00 am. This year’s summit is focused on Frontline Hospitals and will be held at Winchester Medical Center’s Conference Center in Winchester, VA.
The topics include: 

  • National & State Ebola/HID Updates,
  • Hospital & Regional Exercises,
  • Medical Transport,
  • Waste Management,
  • HID Public Messaging,
  • Laboratory Requirements & Capabilities,
  • Dialogue between Frontline Hospitals with the Assessment & Treatment Hospitals.

This is a free conference and travel reimbursement is authorized and will be paid for through the Ebola/Highly Infectious Disease Grant. Reimbursement details and all rules associated with it have been provided. If you are registered to attend the conference and you have not received the reimbursement details, please contact Ron Clinedinst.

A flyer was sent in an email to all of the hospital emergency managers. We did not include the flyer here because the registration link is accessible to anyone who views our website, even those who may not be part of the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition. Please get the word out to the staff who work at any of the 14 Northwest Region hospitals, but especially include those involved in infection prevention. As of October 22nd, 129 people have registered, so if you or your staff plan to attend, you or they need to register soon.

Because this year’s Ebola Virus & Emerging Infectious Disease Summit is being hosted in our region (for the second year in a row), let’s show everyone how the Northwest Region supports education activities by having a great registration and turn-out for the event.

 Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resource,                                                                                                                             Assistance Center, and Information Exchange

Hospital Preparedness Program




1. Hospital-Based Incident Command Systems: Real Experiences and Practical Applications

Hospital-based incident command systems (e.g., HICS) have been used formally in U.S. hospitals since the late 1970’s as a way to manage incidents, coordinate resources and communications, and collaborate with community-based response agencies. ASPR TRACIE is hosting a webinar (November 14, from 1:30-3:00pm ET) that will begin with an overview and history of hospital-based incident command systems, then feature speakers from three large healthcare organizations who have experienced a recent emergency and activated their hospital-based incident command systems. The speakers will provide a brief overview of the incident, describe how they implemented their incident command system, share lessons learned, and discuss how they have incorporated these lessons into their current systems and plansRegister today!

2. Major Earthquakes: Potential Health and Medical Implications

Earthquakes can significantly damage or disrupt a community’s infrastructure (e.g., utilities, levees, communications technology, healthcare facilities, and chemical / nuclear power plants). Such damage may lead to secondary radiological or other hazardous materials incidents; transportation and supply chain (including those for food and medicines) disruption; and financial and insurance losses. Pre-event living and employment conditions may be significantly altered, and healthcare facilities and providers may not be accessible for an extended period of time. This ASPR TRACIE resource provides an overview of the potential significant health and medical response and recovery needs facing areas affected by a major earthquake with or without additional cascading events.     

3. Tips for Healthcare Facilities: Assisting Families and Loved Ones after a Mass Casualty Incident (Summary)

This tip sheet summarizes the ASPR TRACIE document Tips for Healthcare Facilities: Assisting Families and Loved Ones after a Mass Casualty Incident, which highlights best practices and issues related to planning for, activating, and operating hospital or healthcare facility Family Information Centers / Family Support Centers, in collaboration with Family Reception Centers and Family Assistance Centers.

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Emergency Preparedness and Response

This page features scheduled and on-demand access to information on emergency preparedness and response training resources that CDC, other federal agencies, and COCA partners offer. From the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) EMS and Disaster Preparedness training to Zika Zone Trainings and many topics in between—be sure to check out these valuable resources.

Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Frequently Asked Questions

The Center for Medicare Services (CMS) has posted five rounds of Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the Final Rule on Emergency Preparedness. Two previously posted rounds (two and three) were revised June 1, 2017.

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Update for Health Systems

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Round 1 (October 28, 2016) Frequently Asked Questions

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Round 2 (November 2016 – Revised June 1, 2017) Frequently Asked Questions

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Round 3 (December 2016 – Revised June 1, 2017) Frequently Asked Questions

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Round 4 (January 2017) Frequently Asked Questions

CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Round 5 (September 2017) Frequently Asked Questions

     U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Federal Emergency Management Agency



Virginia Department of Emergency Management

1. L0103 Planning Emergency Operations and L0102 Science of Disaster

The L0102 and L0103 classes have been rescheduled. They are both in the COVLC and ready for you to register! https://covlc.virginia.gov/

L0103 – Planning Emergency Operations

November 13 & 14, 2018

L0102 – Science of Disaster

December 11-13, 2018

The location for both classes is still the same: Spotsylvania Fire & Rescue4804 Bancroft Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22408(click the link for directions)

NOTE:  Click here to visit the VDEM Training, Education, and Exercise Division webpage. Contact the HelpDesk at 804-897-9995 or email LMSHelp@vdem.virginia.gov if you have questions about a VDEM course or accessing the Virginia Learning Center

2. G191 EOC/ICS Interface

Dates:              December 6, 2018
Times:             8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location:        Orange County Rescue Squad
                        151 Berry Hill Road
                        Orange, VA 22960

Description: The course provides an opportunity for participants to begin developing an ICS/EOC interface for their community.

Target Audience: This course is intended for ICS and EOC personnel. The course reviews ICS and EOC responsibilities and functions and depends heavily on exercises and group discussions to formulate the interface.
Prerequisite: Recommended: IS-100, IS-200 or equivalents

Registration Instructions: Registration will be done electronically via the Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center at: https://covlc.virginia.gov/. Deadline to register is Dec. 1, 2018.
If you need help or have questions, please contact the Help Desk at 804-897-9995, 8-5 M-F or email:LMSHelp@vdem.virginia.govDeadline to register is December 1, 2018.

3. ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents

Dates:             January 9-10, 2019
Time:             8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location:       Madison Fire Station, 1223 North Main ST, Madison, VA 22727

Description: This 18-hour classroom course is designed for front-line personnel with supervisory responsibilities to serve in a command or general staff position. The three-day curriculum includes instruction in general principles associated with incident command, along with various tabletop exercises that allow students to put this knowledge to practical use.

Prerequisites: Applicants must document completion of all of the following prerequisites to be considered for enrollment. Successful completion of accredited versions of: (Required) IS 100 and IS 200 – (recommended) IS 700 and IS 800.

Please email certificates to:

Tamara Del Rosario
Academic Support Technician
Phone: 804-897-9676

Registration:  Registration is OPEN and will remain open until January 4, 2019.  To register, log-in to the Commonwealth of Virginia Learn Center: https://covlc.virginia.gov/. When searching for this course in the VLC, use this keyword:  ICS 300.  Be sure to select the ICS 300 (11) option from the list.  If you need assistance, please contact the Help Desk at 804-897-9995.

4. L0101 Foundations of Emergency Management

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming L0101 Foundations of Emergency Management course. This two-week course is the first of five in the EM Basic Academy program.  This course is highly recommended for new as well as experienced members of the emergency management community as it provides a comprehensive view of the profession’s core functions, policies, and goals.  To this end, this course is required for all VDEM staff.  Click here for more information and the application packet. 

Dates: Week 1: February 4-8, 2019

Location: McConnell Public Safety and Transportation Operations Center, 4890 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA  22030

Dates: Week 2: March 4-8, 2019

Location: Virginia Department of Emergency Management, 10501 Trade Court, N. Chesterfield, VA 23236

Please submit your completed application by November 16th.  If you have questions, please contact Candice Crockett.

Candice Crockett
Interim Academic Support Coordinator
Training, Education and Exercise Division
Virginia Department of Emergency Management
10501 Trade Court
Richmond, VA 23236
(804) 897-9780 office
(804) 385-7487 cell

1. Memorandum of Understanding

We are pleased to announce that the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition has begun receiving requests to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the coalition and non-hospital facilities. The MOU is designed for healthcare facilities that are not classified as an Acute Care or Critical Access hospital, and it is good for five (5) years before it will need to be renewed. If your your organizations resides with the Northwest Region and has not signed the MOU, you can contact either the Regional Coordinator or the Medically Vulnerable Populations Coordinator to find out more details.

We are expanding our outreach to healthcare agencies within the region as a way of offering assistance to you and your organization. We ask for everyone’s help to spread the word by talking with your colleagues about the Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition. You can contact us by clicking the Contact Us tab on our website.

2. HIPPA Settlement Largest in History

Anthem will pay HHS $16 million to settle potential HIPAA violations related to cyberattacks that compromised the health information of nearly 79 million people in 2015, HHS said Oct. 15.

The payment is the largest settlement the Office for Civil Rights has seen, eclipsing the previous $5.5 million high the office received in 2016.

“The largest health data breach in U.S. history fully merits the largest HIPAA settlement in history,” said OCR Director Roger Severino. “Unfortunately, Anthem failed to implement appropriate measures for detecting hackers who had gained access to their system to harvest passwords and steal people’s private information.” 

In addition to the settlement, Anthem agreed to take substantial corrective action to ensure HIPAA compliance.

In January 2015, Anthem discovered cyberattackers gained access to the health insurer’s IT system through phishing emails sent to an Anthem subsidiary. Between December 2014 and January 2015, cyberattackers stole the ePHI of almost 79 million individuals. Compromised information included names, Social Security numbers, medical identification numbers, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses and employment information.

In August 2018, a federal district judge in California approved Anthem’s separate $115 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit brought by 19.1 million plaintiffs potentially affected by the breach. The approval also marked one of the largest settlements in a consumer data breach case. 

Source: Moran Haefner of Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report

3. It Takes Healthcare Organizations 55 Days to Detect a Breach, Survey Finds

Although healthcare organizations tend to identify breaches more quickly than companies in other industries, they take longer to contain the attack, according to a recent survey sponsored by IBM.

IBM tapped the independent research firm Ponemon Institute to conduct the survey of nearly 500 companies for a report on data breach costs. The survey included 2,634 employees from 477 companies across 17 industries worldwide, all of which had experienced a data breach that compromised at least 2,500 records.

Here are five insights into data breach cost and recovery:

1. The industries with the largest proportion of data breaches in IBM’s survey were financial services (16 percent), services (15 percent), industrial and manufacturing (14 percent), and technology (13 percent). Healthcare organizations comprised just 1 percent of data breaches.

2. The average amount of time it took organizations in the sample to identify a data breach was 197 days. In healthcare, organizations took an average of 55 days to identify a data breach.

3. The average amount of time it took organizations in the sample to contain a data breach was 69 days. In healthcare, organizations took an average of 1,037 days to contain a data breach.

4. Across all organizations, the average cost per breach incident was $3.86 million in fiscal year 2018. Major drivers of this number included costs associated with lost business ($1.45 million), detection and escalation ($1.23 million), ex-post response ($1.02 million) and notification ($160,000).

5. The average cost per compromised record at the surveyed organizations was $148 in fiscal year 2018, up from $141 in 2017 but down from $158 in 2016.

To download IBM’s survey, click here.

Source: Jessica Kim Cohen of Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report

4. OIG Reports Improved Hospital Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Diseases

Hospitals report improved preparedness for emerging infectious diseases since the Ebola outbreak in 2014, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. OIG surveyed a national sample of hospitals in early 2017 about their perceptions of preparedness in 2014 and 2017; actions taken to prepare; and challenges to sustaining preparedness for potential future EID threats. Eighty-six percent of the hospital administrators surveyed reported that their facility was prepared to receive cases of a serious EID such as Ebola in 2017, up from 29 percent in 2014.

To improve preparedness and HHS assistance and oversight, the report recommends that HHS’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continue to support hospital preparedness for potential EIDs by coordinating guidance and providing practical advice to hospitals. In addition, OIG recommends that CDC clarify and promote the details and ongoing status of its tiered framework for hospitals, so that hospitals are clear regarding their responsibilities during an EID outbreak.

“Further, we recommend that CMS add EIDs to the definition of ‘all hazards’ in the State Operations Manual to promote inclusion of EIDs in hospital emergency planning,” OIG said. ASPR, CDC and CMS agreed with the recommendations in their comments on the report.

Source: American Hospital Association Today (October 22, 2018)