FEMA: Hospitals better prepared to handle public health emergencies

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Hospitals have made significant strides since 2011 in preparing for public health emergencies and surge capacity, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) 2013 National Preparedness Report. Since 2002, the HHS Hospital Preparedness Program has awarded more than $4 billion to states, territories and large metropolitan areas to improve preparedness of healthcare systems nationwide. The program continues to focus on development of healthcare coalitions. But the report notes the program could suffer setbacks due to uncertainty in federal funding, as well as continued job losses and funding cuts at state and local health departments. Report