Following Devastating Natural Disasters, Dingell Introduces Legislation to Reauthorize Critical Hospital Preparedness Program
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today introduced the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Reauthorization Act of 2018, which increases federal funding to support regional health care systems in preparing for natural disasters and other threats. The Hospital Preparedness Program, created after September 11th, is the only federal funding source that supports efforts by regional health care systems to improve preparedness and readiness. The program establishes important grants and regional health care coalitions that work together to guard against all threats.
“Following a year in which we experienced record-setting natural disasters, Congress must be doing everything we can to ensure our health care system has the resources needed to prepare and respond to future threats,” said Dingell. “As a designated critical infrastructure sector by the Department of Homeland Security, hospitals face other unique threats including infectious disease outbreaks, superbugs, and antibiotic resistance. The Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) is a vital tool to help hospitals prepare for the wide array of threats they face and we must ensure it has a robust and sustained authorization level.”
“As key components of our nation’s critical infrastructure, the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) plays a vital role in helping hospitals and health systems sustain, develop and update their emergency preparedness and response capabilities,” said Tom Nickels, Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association (AHA). “The investments through this program have improved health care system responses during many catastrophes, such as Superstorm Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Ebola crisis, and recent hurricanes, including Maria and Harvey. The AHA thanks Representative Dingell for introducing this important legislation and looks forward to working with Congress to reauthorize and strengthen the HPP.”
The HPP Reauthorization Act has been endorsed by Trust for America’s Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and National Association of County and City Health Officials. The bill would increase the Hospital Preparedness Program’s authorization level to $515 million for each fiscal year through FY2023, doubling its current level of appropriated funding. This investment will go a long way to help prepare and equip our health care system nationwide in advance and response to future disasters and all other threats.