September 26, 2012_NH"Dear Administrator" Letters

September 26, 2012

ADSA:  NH #2012-013
Emergency Preparedness

Dear Nursing Facility/Home Administrator: 

Recently the Health and Human Services Inspector General's Office released information related to the lack of nursing home readiness to protect frail residents in the case of an emergency.  Every nursing facility/home has a defined role and responsibility in the case of an emergency, natural or manmade. 

You have a continuing obligation to plan for and meet resident needs in the event of a natural or human-made disaster.  This obligation may continue even if residents are evacuated to another location. 

In the event of a major disaster, Residential Care Services (RCS) will work with the Governor, Emergency Management Division (EMD) and other parts of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to establish priorities for responding to a particular disaster situation.

Collaboration with federal agencies will also be important, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  CMS has been developing new, heightened expectations of state regulatory agencies and providers over the past several years.  We expect this trend to continue.

In addition to existing Emergency Planning Information on the ADSA website at at, two new resources regarding preparing for emergencies and disasters are now available:

Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of Washington's nursing home residents.


Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director 
Residential Care Services