FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reimburses individuals and businesses, including healthcare providers, for expenses incurred as a result of natural disasters, such as hurricanes. The expenses covered are costs that would not be reimbursable under normal circumstances. FEMA has divided these expenses into seven types that are grouped under two categories:
- Emergency Work
- Debris Removal
- Emergency Protective Services
- Permanent Work
- Roads and Bridges
- Water Control Facilities
- Buildings and Equipment
- Parks, Recreational Facilities and other items
There is a registration process for obtaining reimbursement under the FEMA program, which requires filing a Request for Public Assistance within 30 days of the incident that caused the damage. FEMA assigns a Public Assistance Coordinator to the case who validates the cost estimates specified in the application. It is vital, therefore, that providers maintain detailed documentation of their expenses.
The type of entity involved affects the manner in which FEMA disburses the reimbursement funds. For example, if the provider is a non-profit entity, FEMA may disburse the funds to the county, county hospital association or city rather than directly to the provider. However, this is a work in progress and details are still being worked out.
Having demonstrated expertise in the handling of FEMA Reimbursement during Hurricane Katrina, Murer Consultants has assisted more than 30 providers in applying for reimbursement under FEMA’s public assistance project.
Murer Consultants has prepared a Disaster Preparation FEMA Response Plan for numerous hospitals and health systems in order for them to be prepared for major occurrences.